Engine room/2014

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December board meeting

The minutes of the December board meeting are now available at Minutes 7Dec13 and Minutes 8Dec13. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 12:16, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Michael for posting these. It's a shame to see that WMUK has moved away from the good practice of specifying who voted which way on decisions made at the meeting; it's sad that this transparency has been lost. It's good to see that the transparency of the meeting reports will be improved, though. :-) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:17, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Mike, on your first point, I think that this has been happening for several board meetings now. I don't recall why or how it started happening, though. Maybe there was an old board decision that I have forgotten, but if it turns out that procedure has just drifted without discussion then I will ask the board to have that discussion. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 14:25, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Has it? In past meetings the names have been omitted if it were unanimous, but recorded if anyone objected or abstained. E.g. see the 'Approval of 2012-13 Accounts' section of Minutes 13Jul13 or the 'AM potential CoI' section of Minutes_14Sep13 (of course, it's particularly important to clearly and publicly note who abstains when there's COI issues!). I can't spot a board decision on this issue in the recent minutes... Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 14:36, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Looking at the earlier minutes, this does seem to have been drift rather than definite decision. I will bring this up at the next meeting, as we clearly do need to be consistent. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 16:02, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. Mike Peel (talk) 16:30, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
I share Mike P.'s concerns; and would also note that "there was an in camera discussion" should be expanded (for example "there was an in camera discussion of staff salaries"; "...of a potential financial donation". Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 15:17, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
+1, let's not let our the values drift such that we become just a boring, needlessly bureaucratic or opaque charity. -- (talk) 17:00, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

The Engine room needs to look prettier

We need a nice Engine room picture to go on the top of this page. Can we get some suggestions going? We could post ideas here in a gallery. (ps the picture above is disqualified as it appears to show a wheelhouse not an engine room). MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:59, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Suggestions for images:
Does it matter if it is a U Boat? Philafrenzy (talk) 19:23, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
So long as I don't have to spend another weekend in a gigantic phallic object dressed as a German sailor. -- (talk) 19:32, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Interesting, Aksel Berg started out as an officer on a submarine, and went on to become one of the pioneers of cybernetics! Leutha (talk) 20:52, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
And was imprisoned by Stalin for three years in the meantime, becoming a government minister immediately on release. Here, it normally works the other way round! Philafrenzy (talk) 22:39, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Format of the newsletter

Just received the latest newsletter. I know somebody in the office spent a long time doing this so I hope nobody is offended by my comments, but I think we can do a lot better, particularly in presentation. I printed a few pages as a pdf and uploaded them here. This is how it appears on screen in a typical widescreen laptop. I hope we can start a discussion about the appearance and content of the newsletter. Here are my initial thoughts:

  • On the plus side, it's much better than it used to be!
  • The appearance is clunky and amateurish and not in keeping with what you would expect from a national charity.
  • The text wrapping around images is poorly formatted and the acres of white space either side of the content just looks weird.
  • This does not look like any other newsletter I get from anywhere. That must mean something.
  • It's boring, though that might just mean that we are boring.
  • We don't need the message from Jon at the start, you lose half your readers there straight away.
  • The content may now be too pared-down.
  • It could include a list of upcoming events in the body of the message and some kind of index at the start.
  • Should we pay to have properly designed member and donor newsletters prepared?
  • I would be interested to know what newsletter donors get, the wrong one could be costing us a lot more than the cost of having a proper one designed.
  • As this is the only regular communication with members, it seems a pity not to get it right.

Philafrenzy (talk) 00:02, 8 Janua ry 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for raising this, I felt the last member's newsletter displayed poorly and seemed clunky. As the charity has several professionals employed full time in communications, the member's newsletter is a good chance to demonstrate these skills. -- (talk) 07:45, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Firstly, thanks Philafrenzy for your comments. I think that the member newsletter has come along way in a short space of time - considering that we didn't actually have one until fairly recently. There are some issues with the template which I know Katie is going to be looking at. But I can promise you that I have seen much, much worse. I'm sorry that you find the content boring. What would you suggest to make it more engaging to you? I quite like the mix, and other members have reacted positively, but getting more detailed feedback on what you think works, and doesn't, might be helpful. Also, what do you mean when you say that the content is too pared down? Do you mean in the email leads or the wiki version? It's a good idea to include events in the message and I'm sure Katie will note that for future editions. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 11:08, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Secondly, Fae - could you let me know where those "several professionals employed full time in communications" have been hiding please? Only I feel they aren't really pulling their weight and I'd quite like to have a word with them to see if they can take on a few of the things I don't have time for. If you see them, please pass on my contact details as I'm very keen to speak with them. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 11:08, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
I've said this before in response to the members survey consultation where I responded to both Fae and Philafrenzy at great length. Well balanced feedback should include what doesn't work and what does. Do Philafrenzy and Fae have any positive comments? More importantly, beyond critique, can you offer more time to help improve the content again (not the template) to make it engaging? (I should note you are both past contributors I think (?) already so thanks for that!)
Katherine, could you please remove the implied criticism of Fae and myself in the paragraph immediately above. It's not appropriate as the initial post is intended to start a discussion on exactly the matter of what can be done better and includes several ideas on that subject. Thank you. Philafrenzy (talk) 14:03, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Now, as to the rest:
There was a competition to redesign the members newsletter banner in July which drew no responses.
The donors newsletter banner was professionally designed in 2012.
The members newsletter has been around for a year now. I believe Katy will be running a survey for feedback as a result. Perhaps it might be best to see if these are personal opinions or more widely reflected?
I don't think a differently designed template is bad idea providing it worked with Civi. Whether its worth doing should probably be based on the survey.
The donor newsletter design will continue to be led by testing results, surveys and feedback. I will be making some proposals in the new financial year (1st Feb) for how this is managed anyway so I'll have to ask you to hold onto your hats until then. Ta Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 11:23, 8 January 2014 (UTC).

I have responded to the above. My edits, and those of other contributors and employees, have been deleted and can be found in the page history for anyone interested. Speaking as a past Chair, I believe this is the first time that any Chairperson of this charity has chosen to exercise direct censorship on this website without there being an independent request to do so; if this action itself is worth discussing or reviewing, I suggest it is raised in a separate thread. Thanks -- (talk) 14:11, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Action of the Chair to censor comments

I requested it. The The board and chief executive have a duty to protect the working environment of staff. Sjgknight (talk) 14:21, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Hi Simon, thanks for your explanation (which I have broken out to its own thread). I never imagined that tampering with discussion threads on this wiki was a duty of the trustees, I am disappointed to see this is the choice now taken by the current trustees rather than leaving this to the CEO, which as I understood it when I was a trustee was where we agreed the fully delegated responsibility and authority for operational issues including personnel issues and complaints. As I recall, Katherine requested that an administrator look at removing a disguised apparent swearword from a comment by Philafrenzy, this would have been a perfectly reasonable action for an administrator to take. It did not require the Chair to be seen to intervene, and in my view neither did the entire dialogue, including comments from employees, require censorship or suppression.
Just to interject, can I make clear that this was an expression of exasperation about how things work here and not about any particular individual. I remain exasperated and frustrated. I may take up kick boxing. Philafrenzy (talk) 14:55, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
I am not asking for the "critical" discussion to be restored, I am sure everyone is already tired of it, however I am concerned at seeing our current board of trustees using their authority to override or suppress free discussion of issues on this website or to be exercising their authority over such detailed operation issues that can be easily managed by volunteer administrators, or could be resolved through discussion with the people involved, if necessary by email, who would in all probability have removed their comments themselves if requested. If employees feel that comments are overly hostile, then the process should be that they avoid responding in any such thread and report this to the CEO for his action, rather than asking questions and personally engaging in the creation of a hostile environment.
The members of the charity should and must feel free to raise concerns with the operations of this charity. If we are unable to do so on this "Engine room" or anywhere else on this public wiki, then I suggest we advise members to express their concerns more freely by using the public email list wikimediauk-l, which employees or trustees do not have ultimate control over, even if at least one member of staff is an administrator there and I imagine he would wisely recuse from acting on any issue directly related to criticism of the operations of the charity.
Thanks for your help. -- (talk) 14:38, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
I confirm that members of the charity and volunteers are absolutely free to raise concerns with the operations of this charity, and that this page is the appropriate place for that to happen. I have deleted some text in compliance with the duty of the board, as employers, to protect the working conditions of individual staff of the charity. Neither I nor I hope anyone else will be continuing public discussion on this thread. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 14:50, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Your actions indicate that members are in fact not literally "absolutely free to raise concerns". Could you confirm that the board's duty as employers with regard to working conditions is fully delegated by the board of trustees to the CEO? If as the Chair and speaking on behalf of the board and responsible for your own actions here, you prefer not to answer any more questions on this topic, then it seems reasonable for members interested to continue this on the independent wikimediauk-l list. Thanks -- (talk) 14:58, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Just to point out: I think this was accidentally removed and added it back, but Fæ has removed it again saying 'Please leave this to the Chair as his action on behalf of the board of trustees. My later comment I would like restored if these are.'. Over to you, User:MichaelMaggs. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 18:24, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Removing Richard N's comment was indeed a mistake, but he is content to leave things where they lie now. No further action needed. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 19:16, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Please note that this means that you (acting for the board of trustees and overriding the role of the Chief Executive) have chosen to restore employee comments made after volunteers had made responses, without restoring the comments from volunteers; what is left is a partial view of the conversation. I would prefer you to delete the whole conversation rather than misrepresenting me or philafrenzy in this way. If employees are free to express their views and opinions on this website, but not members of the charity, then this is no longer an open wiki. Thanks -- (talk) 10:00, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Fæ, I've looked through the rest of what was deleted, and I can't see anything that replies to what Richard N. said. Maybe I'm missing something? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 10:11, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
I did not mention replies to Richard N's comment. If you note the times of comments made that have been deleted by the Chair, comments by employees have been restored which were posted after other comments by volunteers that have now been deleted. Consequently the order of events is compromised and the discussion left on display is a misleading representation of events. To avoid misrepresentation any truncation should be to a fixed specific time with an explanation of why, or remove or restore the entire discussion; at the moment what we have is deliberate cherry picking by preferring comments made by employees and suppressing comments made by volunteers (of which only one comment has been highlighted as a possible problem with regard to "protect the working environment of staff", a role that by existing policy is the job of the Chief Executive to implement, not trustees). -- (talk) 11:45, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Noted. I have re-deleted Richard's comment so that the thread is effectively now cut at a single point in time. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:59, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. As you have declined to answer my question with regard to the trustees acting in an operational role we previously delegated to the CEO, I presume this thread is effectively closed. -- (talk) 18:44, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Key Performance Indicators for the Chief Executive

Could a member of the board of trustees please share with the members the top level Key Performance Indicators that the Chief Executive (and the charity) is measured against?

Now that Jon has been in the role for 3 years, it seems reasonable for the members to be able to see this published in a trend report spanning the duration of his employment. Thanks -- (talk) 07:42, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

The latest information on metrics can be found here. We will not be giving a running commentary before the strategy and metrics are open to public consultation in February, but I can say that the task force has met twice already and is meeting for a time this week. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 11:39, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Michael. The section you link to mentions metrics but not key performance indicators. It is not an automatic conclusion that the latter would ever be produced from the former. Could you confirm that Key Performance Indicators for the Chief Executive is an intended outcome, and that these will be published and tracked publicly so that the members of the charity can read them? By the way, as a past trustee I am fully aware that these were required as part of Jon's contract agreed three years ago and so are overdue. Thanks -- (talk) 11:59, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

The Water cooler needs to look prettier

We need a nice Water cooler picture to go on the top of this page the Water cooler. Can we get some suggestions going? We could post ideas here in a gallery. -MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:55, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

It's somewhat worrying that the WMUK Chief Exec has enough spare time to add pictures to nearly every section of this page! I'm sure there's much better things to be getting on with... :-( (Plus, they get in the way of leaving comments!) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 07:15, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
I appreciate Mike's viewpoint. This is a discussion page, and unless the thread is directly connected to a particular image it is not normal on wikis to illustrate each thread as if they were a blog posts. MichaelMaggs' suggestion to put a photo at the top of the page is more in line with the way we see village pumps working on other projects. Although bandwidth is unlikely to me a massive problem for most readers or contributors, several photographs on a long page may discourage readers from accessing using mobile devices and could make the page unreadable or subject to time-outs if they are relying on a lower speed mobile connection. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think wiki thumb transclusions like this actually mean that most browsers will download the full size image file before rendering this page, so these images do add significantly to bandwidth and rendering times.
I am sure now Jon has been CE for 3 years, as per the lead item of the member's newsletter, he does not advice with regard to the norms of wikis. -- (talk) 07:32, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
On the technical point, the images are automatically resized by MediaWiki - there's no downloading the full images. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 08:13, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
I’m inclined to think that where there are obvious images it's no bad thing to include them just as we add images to Wikipedia articles (or indeed blog posts). It makes the page more attractive and is minimal work particularly given the images can be used on the pages/events/activities they refer to, if it was lots of extra work certainly that woudld be bad. Given the markup goes at the top of the sections I'm not convinced it gets in the way of leaving comments(?), useful to consider if there are other problems though? Incidentally this discussion should really be moved to the Engine room (i.e. I think the whole discussion around the water cooler image should be there). Sjgknight (talk) 08:30, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
My comment about it getting in the way was because the image here is after the first comment, so my comment was straight after it which was a bit confusing to me. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 08:46, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Ah fair enough, yes I agree that's to be avoided where possible (particularly given it'd be good to have noobs posting on the water cooler!). I think this is the only one on here though. Sjgknight (talk) 08:48, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Mike don't worry it only took a few minutes of time in gaps doing other things. As to the images I am really happy to take tech advice - we don't want people to be put off by download times. On the other hand we need our watercooler to be a busy and buzzing place that is attractive to come to. The thumbnails draw attention to the different subjects and when new things come up help draw attention to them. Our website is sooooooooooooooo boring. If it is to be a way of encouraging new volunteers (and members) it has to be a lot better and this is one tiny step to drag it into the 21st century. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 08:43, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

I have withdrawn my post above after this complaint by MichaelMaggs who felt it was sarcastic. My feeling is that Jon's criticism of this site is that it is "sooooooooooooooo boring" and needs to be dragged into this century appears dismissive of Mike's point by trivializing it. I believe Mike and I do live in this century and have quite a strong awareness of modern technology, I doubt we could be considered terribly out of date compared to anyone else who contributes to the charity. Perhaps this aspect of his communication style could be improved? Thanks -- (talk) 12:04, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Fae, Jon's comments about the site are appropriate and allude to problems that anybody with a professional background in web usability should be able to recognise, despite your eagerness to trivialise or deny them. Yes you "do live in this century and have quite a strong awareness of modern technology" and it's interesting that that's your case for expertise. This is not to say that adding images to discussion pages is a solution. I agree with what you say below that accessibility is a problem - across all Wikimedia sites, not just this one - and should be a priority. Other points about the appeal and usability of the site deserve the charity's attention too, bearing in mind that the site doesn't exist for its own sake but to showcase our work and invite an ever-growing audience to take part in or support it. Calling for improvements to Jon's communication style is supremely ironic given your quite desperate contributions on this wiki. Take this well-intentioned advice from a friend: that you've lost perspective on what is or is not appropriate communication style. MartinPoulter (talk) 15:17, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
I have made no case for my expertise, only responded to Jon Davies' dismissive style that I would not expect from the CEO of a national charity. Your comment about "quite desperate contributions" is not friendly; my friends do not deride me in public. -- (talk) 15:59, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for moving this Michael, an unusual case hopefully there won't be too many of this type, but generally I think if people want to talk about the function and form of the water cooler it should go here. Sjgknight (talk) 13:32, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Suggestions for images:

Being "pretty" versus ensuring access for all contributors

I ran a short test a couple of hours ago by attempting to reply in the above discussion using an Android tablet. The mobile edit interface is not available (can this be fixed?) so the edit box's behaviour for this website is erratic and becomes unusable, in my experience, for anything other than very short sections. Pretty images can make access more difficult, particularly for mobile devices. I believe mobile access is important, I have often dropped timely replies in discussion on Commons from my tablet and sometimes my mobile phone, this has been particularly useful when stuck on a train and catching up with discussions. Though the recent actions to prettify discussions on this site with tangentially connected photographs may be liked by some, I suggest that we define some basic house-style guides for different types of pages on this wiki, and consider testing our accessibility from mobile devices and tablets to ensure that style guidelines are effective.

It is entirely possible, for example, for the main page of this site to use different css rules, or even display quite a different page, depending on the platform accessing it, and these options are worth considering. Thanks -- (talk) 14:55, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Hi Fae, entirely agree this sounds sensible. From your post it sounds like the issue is the interface in general, not the newly added images, but I'm not sure that's what you mean? Regardless, accessibility for screen readers, etc. is also important and I don't know how we do on that front. Given articles, etc. have inline images there must be ways we can include images in these discussions (whether we want to or not) while still ensuring they're accessible no? I think the tech-committee may have a discussion about accessibility at some point. Sjgknight (talk) 15:00, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
I would include images as an issue, as I mentioned in my comment. A house-style guide would cover when images were best used and when not, and may put limits to the types of image or other media file to be transcluded in certain situations. A discussion page may have an entirely different style to a proposal page or a static report. -- (talk) 15:03, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
(EC) Hi Fae, I understand (I think) but I think what I was saying was that your current major issue was just flat out being able to access the mobile interface - not that the introduction of images had created a new problem on that front. Of course the broad point re: good practice for accessibility generally and mobile interfaces stands. Sjgknight (talk) 15:10, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
All good points. Thanks. Any thoughts from anyone as who who might have the willingness and expertise to start work on a page of recommendations? --MichaelMaggs (talk) 15:07, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
I vaguely recall exactly the same discussion a year or more ago with regard to house styles. Mike Peel, our historian, can probably supply a link, or I think there was some preliminary work on the Office wiki by Stevie that you may want to review before starting a new exercise. As this is a closed wiki I do not have access to, I am only going by frail meat-memory.
By the way, I believe that house-styles for communications would normally be under the domain of the communications manager, which though he has changed his title to head of the department of External Relations, is probably still within his remit and would be better managed by him rather than being directed by unpaid volunteers. -- (talk) 15:16, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Not that I can recall, I'm afraid. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 12:14, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Time is a bit malleable, the discussion could have been 3 years ago. Searching about finds Water_cooler/2012#House_style but no follow-on I can see. I am fairly convinced there is more somewhere on the office wiki, though it may have been part of our preparing terms of reference for some employees, certainly this came up more than once when I was interviewing applicants for the Communications Manager position. -- (talk) 12:23, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Declarations for paid editing and related advocacy

In the light of the recent announcement by the Wikimedia Foundation that paid editing is not acceptable for employees, and the apparent swift termination of a long term employee, I believe it appropriate for the Board of Trustees of Wikimedia UK to agree a policy at the next board meeting to require employees, contractors and trustees to publicly declare any current or past paid editing activities, or related unpaid advocacy that may represent a potential conflict of interest.

The risk to the charity by allowing confidential declarations limited to the board in this area, or to "overlook" past paid editing (even if some years ago) is that a current board member, employee or contractor may be perceived to be deliberately misleading the Wikimedia community. Were this to be exposed then Wikimedia UK may suffer reputational damage if seen to be supporting procedures that protect this secrecy.

Considering the recent resignation of an Arbcom member, after avoiding a public declaration of off-wiki accounts where they were both publicly and non-publicly posting about matters related to Wikimedia projects, I would hope that the board would require employees and contractors to similarly interpret "related advocacy" as applying to "secret" accounts elsewhere whenever they can be seen to relate to Wikimedia projects or Wikimedia UK matters. The board of trustees will already be aware that such undeclared accounts exist.

Thanks -- (talk) 12:53, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Can you rewrite the first paragraph without assuming that readers already know what you're talking about? Thanks in advance, MartinPoulter (talk) 15:02, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
How about starting with "A long term employee of the WMF has quickly left their employment after it was revealed that they have been editing Wikipedia on behalf of paying clients, a public statement has been issued by the WMF here." If this is still unclear, it might be better to ask on the related thread on wikimediauk-l.
You may find the recent discussion on the Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard or today's article on The Daily Dot helpful for context too. -- (talk) 15:50, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for that Fae. I personally wouldn't want to promise that such a policy could be delivered and agreed upon by the next board meeting. But it is a risk the board needs to consider and it should certainly be discussed. Seddon (talk) 22:17, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for taking it seriously. Rather than attempting a full policy, which I agree may take a while if community consultation and a check with employment law is needed, I suggest that the board discuss the couple of basic principles, perhaps as a short resolution statement, along with understanding the WMF's position at that time. With the principles agreed, policy can then be updated as necessary (such as COI policy, trustee code and employment policies). It would be useful from the member's perspective if this could remain as open a process as possible.
Lastly, there is no need for WMUK to have identical policies to the WMF, indeed our independent approach and needs for this governance issue may result in major differences in how paid editing declarations are managed and the circumstances in which they are considered legitimate; for example we may fund projects where contractors support the project, are declared paid editors, and this is part of their valued skill sets. Thanks -- (talk) 23:21, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

I made a reply on the UK email list, and I'd like to add to it here. To get started, I'm a contractor for WMUK, and tomorrow will be beginning fresh contract work on the VLE. So I'm within the scope of what Fæ is raising here. None of my edits on Wikipedia and the other projects has been for pay or other consideration.

Here is what I posted to the list:


On the details of the Sarah Stierch affair, which has been in the Independent for example:


"Long-term employee" seems not quite right. She had a one-year fellowship in 2012. The Independent report said she was engaged in an evaluation project for editathons, which is true enough. I don't know the full extent of her recent portfolio of WMF activities. Stierch, as the WP article makes clear, is a significant activist over a range of things, and working for the WMF has been part of it. As usual, Wikipedia cannot be relied on for all information one might wish to have.

No doubt the WMUK Board needs to think this through. The implication that the "net" should be cast wide to look for COI, of those involved in the WMUK in any fashion, of course has different sides: a prudential approach is one of them.

As a coauthor of the original (2006) COI guideline on enWP, I have always been interested in the distinctions between "potential conflict of interest" (which is in a sense part of the human condition), perceptions of COI, and concrete "conflict of interest" in the guideline sense. The last of these relates rather precisely to the actual circumstance that someone is editing the project content in such a way as to prioritise outside interests over the best interests of the project. E.g. advocacy where there should be none.


To move further into the issue: I think there is a potential downside whatever is done, i.e. this is not a situation that can be dealt with simply by process. Let me explain my reasoning on that first. There are possibly unintended consequences of the approach Fæ is proposing, which you could call "clean hands".

And this seems evident in relation to "in residence" positions. One extreme consequence comes from reasoning this way: Wikimedians in residence are typically paid, and are typically editing, so they are paid editors. Now we don't accept that as a case for exclusion of the "in residence" concept, given that Wikimedians in residence are generally exemplary members of the community, of high reputation from the internal point of view, and will in any case know much better than most people what kind of editing is best for Wikipedia and the other projects.

Further, we probably don't accept that WMUK should distance itself from the "in residence" concept, or the people involved. So if they are also applying for staff and contractor positions at WMUK, such positions are going to be a plus on the CV. So far, so good.

But I noticed something about the tender document for the JISC Ambassador position, which is a kind of "in residence with roving brief" position, hence the name. The Ambassador was supposed to coach JISC staff in editing, but not to edit on JISC's behalf themself. The tender being a joint WMUK/JISC effort, this clearly represents a conscious slant in the direction of "clean hands".

I disagree with what was done there. If we actually want to avoid editing that is not only paid, but is advocacy on behalf of (say) an institution, this is the wrong way to go about it. As I have said, the generic "in residence" position in an institution ought to be held by a trusted community member; and it makes no sense to delegate editing about the institution to the staff of the institution, who will have only a fraction of the ideas of what is suitable editing, and far less a stake in the outcome being better for Wikimedia content. Anyone "in residence" will have a reputation to lose if they overstep the line and do advocacy, and I know of one who made it clear at interview that there is such a line.

To sum up: let us concentrate on the outcomes for the projects. We know perfectly well what is to be avoided: the "foreign body" in the community which can exist if there are editors actively cutting across basic content policies. That is why the issue is heated. It will not help, though, if too much finger pointing leads the chapter in the UK to overcompensate. Which in the detailed drafting in the JISC case seems to me to have already happened. Charles Matthews (talk) 10:17, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

January seems to show a decline in the number of events

If we examine Events/Archive just for January events, the heyday of Wikimedia UK appears to have been back in 2010-2012 when we doubled the number of events we were delivering each year, though this may be a "January" phenomenon. We have more employees now and claim to have more active volunteers, but the numbers have been static or going down rather than up, let alone doubling. So what do others think these numbers tell us about the organization's growth and performance over the last 3 years, compared to the 3 years before that? In comparison December shows a similar pattern, doubling each year until 2012 when it becomes static. In the last 3 years the budget for the charity has quadrupled, but this does not seem to have resulted in any proportionate growth in this potential Key Performance Indicator.

The table below is a sample and different samples may give significant variation. For a useful Key Performance Indicator for the charity this would need to be turned into a full trend chart of quantity of external events going back over the last 5 years showing the seasonal pattern. Once internal facing events such as board meetings and probably wikimeets are removed, the remaining numbers will be far more meaningful. It's about an hour or two of work to set up and then about 15 minutes a month to maintain as a report for the board of trustees. -- (talk) 08:13, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Year No. of events in January No. of events in December
2009 1 1
2010 3 4
2011 6 8
2012 12 14
2013 11 14
2014 8 -
This is definitely an interesting statistic to measure (and it should be measured!), but bear in mind that it's not a measure of what's been achieved, but what has been done. It almost doesn't matter how many events are run if they all achieve a lot, e.g. in terms of number of people impacted by the events, number of new editors, number of existing editors retained due to the event, amount of content produced on the sites as a result of the events, etc. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 06:31, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I agree that counting events is not great, but it is available when hardly any long term external-facing metrics are being published. This comes down to our continued poor and inconsistent measurement of outcomes (as in the purpose of any charity is the new outcomes it delivers to beneficiaries, in our case the benefit to public knowledge, not how many jobs we create, how many partners we have, how many lunches we can get with politicians, or how many articles we can get in the national press). It still amazes me that after more than 3 years of having a full time CEO, he and the board of trustees has yet to agree a set of firm and credible key performance indicators, or any firm performance targets. This makes the job of reviewing the CEO's performance almost entirely subjective and a complex matter of personal judgement of management competence rather than independent measurement. For example, though the FDC bid contains a number of measurable commitments, there is no sense that these are tied to measurement of performance of the charity or the CEO, indeed a number of these measurable commitments have yet to have any official reports. -- (talk) 12:23, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
an interesting and valid debate and we are working hard to establish clear metrics for what we do. Staff and trustees listen carefully to these discussions. One point of correction; I have been CEO for a little over two years not three and whatever my personal merits both outside consultants have commented on how rapidly and well WMUK developed during that period. So let's remember to celebrate our achievements. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 10:41, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Fortunately events have been reported publicly for the last 6 years, it does not require any further hard work to report them as they are already reported. As a Key Performance Indicator (rather than a simple metric) reporting the trend of quantity of external-facing events and their benefits as measurable outcomes for Wikimedia projects is one of the most basic I can imagine. This is a KPI that is cheap to report and effective for trustees to monitor operations, and does not need the clock to be reset to zero, so this means that this year's performance can easily be compared to 2013, 2012, 2011...
Jon, I made absolutely no comment on your "personal merits", re-framing my comment above in this way confuses a criticism of process with a person. Members should be free to highlight issues with the charity's performance or how the CEO's performance can be measured in a more meaningful and transparent way, without it being turned into a defensive argument of personalities. -- (talk) 11:50, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

1st June is Global Sharing Day

Discussion resulting from initial post at Water cooler#1st June is Global Sharing Day

This seems to be a day devoted to reciprocity of asset sharing (car shares, food sharing), rather than preserving the sum of human knowledge. Isn't getting into bed with these people the same as becoming affiliated with Freecycle? I can understand why piggybacking on the co-incidental title of the day might seem attractive from a PR perspective, but this feels oddly tangential to Wikimedia UK's mission. -- (talk) 18:32, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
I couldn't disagree more. Knowledge sharing is one of the most important types of sharing there is. If it wasn't then the Wikimedia projects and movement wouldn't have such importance and would have so many people involved. Making the case for free knowledge is one of the most useful things we can do. It can hardly be called tangential. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 18:50, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
I did not say that making the case for free knowledge is tangential; I did not serve as a trustee, or help set this charity up in the first place without believing in making the case for free knowledge. Please note my sentence with regard to "getting into bed". I was going by the self description on Benita Matofska's website where it is also clear that Compare and Share is a limited company (not a charity) who no doubt would benefit from adding the Wikimedia brand name value to their portfolio. -- (talk) 19:08, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
The implication being that we shouldn't work with anyone that isn't a charity? This is a global initiative with global participation. It costs nothing for Wikimedia UK to be involved. Why shouldn't sharing knowledge be seen on a par with sharing food or other assets? We talk a lot about member numbers and volunteer numbers. This is the kind of initiative that can take our work to a wider audience that is already interested in the sharing of "assets" - an audience that is more likely to share our aims and values and therefore more likely to become participants in the future. If other people benefit from that - great. Let's make everyone happy. It's worth noting also that it's not that long ago Wikimedia UK was a limited company. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 09:28, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
(Just for reference, WMUK is still a Limited company Stevie, Limited by guarantee.) Philafrenzy (talk) 18:17, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Just saw this Philafrenzy, thanks for that. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 09:41, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
With a "use of Limited" exemption just to be absolutely clear. By the way, the home page shouldn't be saying "registered in England and Wales", that is a common misunderstanding. It should be just "registered in England". To be fair, it is a very common mistake and a totally harmless one. Philafrenzy (talk) 18:51, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
I believe that 'England and Wales' is correct, as both share a common legal and charity registration system. Scotland, on the other hand, has a separate legal system with separate registrations. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 22:53, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
They do Michael and the certificate of incorporation will say England & Wales but you can and should just say Registered in England No. or Registered in Wales No. since a company can only have one registered address at one time. Anyway, it is not worth paying for legal advice over. Philafrenzy (talk) 23:17, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Hi Philafrenzy. Companies_House#England_and_Wales seems to disagree with you - the "registered in" bit is about which legal area you are registered as a charity in, not where the registered address is. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 08:58, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
That's because they are fed up answering questions about it so it easier to say put E & W, and there is a joint register and common legal system for both as has been said, but the law on this particular matter is a 2008 Statutory Instrument No. 495 titled The Companies (Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2008 which just says at S.7: "Every company shall disclose the particulars set out in paragraph (2) .... the part of the United Kingdom in which the company is registered". E & W is not a "part", it is two parts. England is a part. I rest my case M'Lud. But as I say, not important. Philafrenzy (talk) 11:22, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Further, shouldn't the statement simply read "Wikimedia UK is a company registered in England" Or is the term "Charitable Company" one defined in law? I note the capitalisation but the charitable status is mentioned on the next line. Philafrenzy (talk) 18:55, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
They appear to be company number 07494345. It's not clear whether they are for- or non-profit - if they are for-profit then that's definitely something to be wary of, particularly if working with them ends up getting media coverage. But tapping into their community and encouraging them to contribute to the Wikimedia projects would make a lot of sense. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 09:46, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
The strategy of the Compare and Share private company appears to be to create a viral marketing campaign verging on being a pyramid scheme ("we're asking each partner to bring a network / another partner on board"). They are pushing for partners (as they say on their website) who have a number 1 objective of "Promote yourself"; it is free to become a partner, you just send in your company logo, so this does not seem particularly meaningful. Anyone can create a "National Day" to support a marketing campaign, for example Marmite encouraged a National Marmite Day. Before launching Wikimedia UK events or partnering with an organization, Wikimedia UK should do basic background checks and be able to answer these questions and understand fully what the Wikimedia brand is supporting.
Lastly these are the types of questions (is this a charity? why would we partner with them?) that members should not only be free to ask, but encouraged to raise. At the moment I do not feel members have the least bit of encouragement to raise pertinent questions on this wiki, quite the opposite. -- (talk) 10:51, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

I note that all discussion has been moved from the Water cooler (without any attempt at consensus to do so), but not Stevie's announcement there promoting "Global Sharing Day". While there is a governance issue under active discussion, with unresolved directly relevant questions, please move the notice from the Water cooler to be located with the thread, or move this discussion back where it was. Positivity does not mean cherry picking parts of discussions. -- (talk) 11:25, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

There is a link between the two. This isn't about positivity, it's about splitting different types of discussion. Cheers Sjgknight (talk) 11:33, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
No this is cherry picking. Stevie has created a notice promoting "Global Sharing Day", the question raised is whether we should do so. Splitting the two just hides this relevant question. The stated new purpose of the Water cooler is "This is a place to let you know what is happening and to discuss our external projects and activities" - this does not include promoting events for other organizations. Stevie's notice does not fit that description as we have not committed to supporting such an event or joining Compare and Share's marketing programme by becoming a "partner". If the whole discussion thread is to stay on this page, then by the same logic, Stevie's notice should be in the Engine room not on the Water cooler.
Simon, I would like the board of trustees to be alerted to this governance issue, which now appears to be being diffused rather than managed. Wikimedia UK should not lend the Wikimedia brand name to a viral marketing campaign without doing basic background checks such as whether someone is making bags of money out of it somewhere. -- (talk) 11:48, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
"Compareandshare.com is brought to you by Compare and Share Ltd., the leading provider of technology-based solutions for asset-sharing that enables consumers and companies to access and share the world’s under-used assets. Alongside compareandshare.com, we license, build and customise asset-sharing solutions for companies and organizations helping them maximise their unused assets by making it simple for them to connect surplus resources with need." Source: http://www.compareandshare.com/about-us/
My local Tesco also has surplus resources that meet my needs, at least they are open that I am going to have to pay. Philafrenzy (talk) 13:53, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Based on that description, if Wikimedia UK wants to support "resource sharing", then I suggest we do so independently and produce a Wikimedia sponsored website, forum and on-line database for the public to share resources in competition with Compare and Share Ltd. Frankly, none of it looks that technically challenging and it is something that Wikimedia UK could host on its own server. I would say an £100,000 grant would do it and at least *we* would be a charity transparently governing the entire scheme from end to end, with no future advertising and no selling of parallel commercial services piggy-backing on the created brand value. However this would mean a significant change to our charitable mission and scope as originally presented to the Charity Commission, that's up to the board of trustees if they want to fundamentally re-write this charity or stick to the mission of preserving all human knowledge, which already seems a pretty big mission. -- (talk) 17:21, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

I have emailed Compare and Share (they do not give a phone number on their website) asking to confirm whether they are a for-profit or not and whether an annual report is available for me to examine. Considering the blog posts on their website which mentions "pitching to a number of different corporates, investors and entrepreneurs", it would be hard to believe that investors do not expect to make a profit. -- (talk) 11:23, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

The co-founder Nick Tong has written back to me and confirmed that Compare and Share are a for-profit company. The lack of clear responses, and silence in the two days since, seems to make it reasonable for members to assume that this was unknown by Wikimedia UK operations before proposing that the charity support the event on the Water cooler. A rationale was given that "it costs nothing" for Wikimedia UK to join this marketing campaign, I suggest that the charity asks more questions than how much it costs to be assured that such partnerships and events remain within the values and mission of the charity, certainly before putting the Wikimedia brand name up for grabs. -- (talk) 17:25, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

I've never heard of Compare and Share but as this was put up for discussion on wiki and some pretty serious concerns have been raised about it I'd be inclined not to associate WMUK with it unless they be put to rest. Judging from what people have been able to find out so far there is at least a significant risk that our name will be used, in effect, as some kind of endorsement for a scheme which does not seem to have much in common with our own goals. I'm glad Fae an Philaphrenzy have raised these points. Mccapra (talk) 17:06, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
I have nothing against capitalism (that would be hypocritical) it's the least worst system that has so far been devised for distributing resources, however, if I am being sold to I like people to be honest about it and this particular scheme seems a little vague about where the money is going. It's not a charity and they are not doing it for nothing are they? If the day becomes established and the financial side becomes more transparent then we could look at it again next year. Philafrenzy (talk) 17:54, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Note, it took 6 days to get something official on this, when the facts could have been confirmed within the first 20 minutes with a phone call or email. These sorts of checks should be built in before making public statements of support that are hard to back down from; not rely on me as an unpaid amateur detective playing the bad guy. -- (talk) 17:47, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
I have to agree that if the Water Cooler is now a form of official announcement page rather than a discussion page then things need to be looked at critically first and contentious things should maybe start on this page. I now proudly sport a grey beard and have been on the receiving end of every kind of dodgy sales pitch you can imagine. Philafrenzy (talk) 17:54, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Recruitment - Discussion removed from Water_cooler#Open_Coalition_Project_Co-ordinator

The job itself

Hi Stevie. That’s the first I’ve heard about this co-operation - has anything been posted about this before on this wiki or the mailing list? Why are you choosing to hire someone rather than to seek volunteers to do some of this work? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 17:25, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Hi Mike, I've replied to the email but will reply here, too. This has been discussed a few times and the collaboration has been developing for a few months. John Cummings and I led a session at MozFest in October, along with Open Knowledge Foundation, Mozilla and Creative Commons, about this very thing. To address the point about volunteers, there's lots to do and I'd encourage anyone interested in taking part as a volunteer to get involved. One of the key things the project will be doing is bringing together lots of different volunteer communities. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 17:37, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I must admit that when I first read this job description it seemed to me that these were all things that we should already be doing in line with being about the whole open knowledge project, not just Wikipedia. Does this role represent a delegation in some way of the responsibilities of the Chief Exec or is it fundamentally a different job? I see also that it is, like a number of other posts, a part time one. I am starting to be concerned that we are creating a portfolio of part time posts that provide a subsistence income for several people when we should be employing people full time. Inevitably some of these jobs, including recent In Residence appointments, take up a lot more time than the holder is being paid for, spilling into evenings and weekends for which no extra payment is made. The creation of part time posts also severely limits who can apply as most people need a full time income. I hope we are not inadvertently exploiting people by paying them for one or two days when they will actually be working three or four days. Could we alternatively offer two profiles for each job, a longer term part time job and a shorter term full time job, thus creating a wider pool of applicants? Philafrenzy (talk) 18:12, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Some good reflections. Stevie has responded about the job itself I would like to respond to your more general observations. So far we have found that there is n appetite for part time posts. The on;y two posts we have struggled to get shortlists for were actually a full time post and an almost full time post. With Wikimedians in Residence we are still grappling with what works best. We are starting a review shortly of the Wikimedians in Residence programme to see what lessons have been learned and how we can adjust it in the future, should we agree it is worthwhile of course. It is interesting that two posts have been extended. Perhaps that says something about how long they need to be. It is however horses for courses. A major institution can easily accommodate someone and provide enough to do whereas a small institution may prefer something a lot more light touch. I hope you will participate in the review. As to the working evenings and weekends - welcome to the voluntary sector! This is a real issue particularly for WMUK staff who have come from the community and can find themselves 'wikiing' 24/7. Rest assured we have no master plan to casualise and exploit the workforce hence when we have had intern posts we have paid living wage for instance.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 09:29, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for your comments Jon. I don't suggest any sort of deliberate bias in the matter by WMUK, but I don't see why we can't, where feasible, give an alternative for every post. A one day per week post could be offered with a 10 week full time option, thus making it an option for someone to live in London full time for that period. People sometimes have just a day or two spare each week, other times they may need a full time income. I do agree that the longer the engagement with the institution the better but by only or mainly offering part time posts we are effectively restricting them to the retired, the wealthy or those that enjoy eating lots of pasta. Has anyone with a young family and a mortgage ever applied for any of the part time posts? There is also a clear risk of exploitation by making the working hours too short for the scale of the institution. I am thinking of a recent appointment in particular. In order to avoid accidentally exploiting the goodwill of our members, and to ensure a wide pool of applicants, let's offer more flexibility in this area please and ensure the amount of work being paid for is closely linked to the amount of work actually being done. Philafrenzy (talk) 18:58, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
I think the job itself looks like a good and worthwhile thing. But I echo Philafrenzy's concerns about the proliferation of part-time posts. Realistically, you limit our recruiting pool to those already based in London and possibly the nearer parts of the Home Counties. With the obscene cost of commuting to or living in the capital, I don't think anybody could realistically relocate or commute take up a part-time, six-month post and so applicants from elsewhere in the country are likely to be put off. This is bad for the charity, as it only further skews its activities towards London and restricts its recruiting pool, and it's likely to frustrate people (including me) who might have considered applying, only to find that it's simply not viable because I don't live in London. As a member and a volunteer, I already feel like I'm at a serious disadvantage by being base outside London; the proliferation of short-term, part-time, London-based staff posts seems to confirm that the charity is moving ever closer to being "Wikimedia London". Harry Mitchell (talk) 17:33, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments Harry. The part time roles issue has been addressed above by Jon but just as a clarification, the role description says the location is London / Flexible (remote working possible). There's no need for the successful candidate to necessarily be based in London or work from London. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 18:18, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Absolutely. We try to be flexible about location. The education part time post is based in Yorkshire for instance. I don't think it is right to call two extra posts 'a proliferation' of posts. The second one advertised at the moment wil be in Wales and is in reality not our post but we are hiring the person on behalf of the Pathways project as they do not have the right infrastructure to do it easily. Otherwise we have a p/t accountant who needs to be in London for the work but actually lives quite a way away, a p/t GLAM person (Londonish) and this contract post we are discussing which as Stevie says could be elsewhere. When it comes to Wikimedians in Residence we have worked hard to make sure they are not all on London. As to PF's point about how we structure the posts the reality is that we start at the other end of the process, i.e. what does this job need to achieve and then work backwards to find as much flexibility as possible. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 10:03, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

It's correct to work back from the job, but unless there is a strong reason to offer only full time or only part time, will the chapter offer an option on that in the future and allow flexibility as to the number of days worked in a part time post? Also you haven't directly addressed my other concern Jon that some posts may be more time consuming than the holder is actually being paid for. Just because somebody is prepared to do twice as much as they are paid for doesn't mean that we should let them, even if it is good for the charity's bank balance. It will be sufficient to know that you and the board are aware of this risk. Philafrenzy (talk) 19:11, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't want to reply on behalf of Jon, but I can address the points in respect of this specific role. My initial thinking was for the position to be full time for three months. When I discussed this with some of the groups that we're working with there was a general consensus that a part time position over a longer period would lead to better and more sustainable results. On reflection I'm inclined to agree. The closer relationships and collaborations that we want to achieve are better served over a longer period of time rather than a shorter burst of more intense activity. The point that staff shouldn't do more work than they are paid for is, of course, a valid one. I know for a fact that those paid employees of Wikimedia UK that have line management responsibility do their best to make sure that staff don't end up doing lots of unpaid overtime. I'm line managed by Jon and know from experience he does his best to be strict on this (even if I don't always listen). I intend to be equally strict when the successful applicant for this position comes on board. I hope this is helpful but I'm sure Jon will comment on this, too. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 19:28, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Philafrenzy (talk) 18:44, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply Stevie. You said by email 'The board agreed to fund the project at the December board meeting'. I must be missing something - can you point me to where in the minutes this decision is recorded please? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 18:52, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Can't we discuss anything on the water cooler nowadays? I'm starting to feel like I'm barred from commenting there nowadays. :-( Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:14, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
The Water cooler, once for free exchange of ideas and questions, seems to have become only for approved announcements, and supporting statements of positivity, not for questions or open discussion. Not anything like how we expected transparent and open values to be implemented when we agreed the mission of the charity just a few years ago. Mike, I apologise for working against you with regard to keeping the wikimediauk-l email list independent of the charity, I now appreciate how important this might be as an independent free channel for discussion; such as being a place where one might be allowed to be critical of the CEO. -- (talk) 21:51, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Just to note: I wasn't arguing for wikimediauk-l to be independent, I was arguing for it to be used by both the charity and the community, not just one or the other (and to avoid having a duplicate list set up just for WMUK members). But that's a separate issue from this one. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 07:31, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Stevie for the link to Joint Mozfest session. I thought that was just for planning a joint session at a meeting, though, and not starting a full co-operation? I can't see anything there about hiring a joint coordinator, nor anything else about it on this wiki. I'd really like to see open discussion take place here before such positions are being recruited, e.g. so that volunteers can express whether they would like to be coordinated, or to see whether the work could be done voluntarily rather than via a paid position. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 07:35, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

(unindent) Hi Mike and Philafrenzy. Mike, the minute you are looking for is here. Philafrenzy, I'm not sure what you mean by delegating the responsibilities of the chief exec in this context. Could you clarify please? To answer the question I “think” you may be asking, bringing together groups that are working in the same area, or similar areas, as Wikimedia UK is clearly pretty important. Throughout the work that has been happening over the last few months it has become clear to all organisations involved that having someone who can co-ordinate this activity would be extremely useful. With some volunteer support I wrote up the project proposal and presented this to the board as an appendix to my quarterly report. The board agreed to support the project and obviously I am very pleased, as are the people I've been working with at Creative Commons and Open Knowledge Foundation. These groups are also looking at the possibility of providing extension funding to continue the project after the initial period. I'm proud of Wikimedia UK for showing leadership in this area, particularly as everyone I've spoken to from other organisations tends to comment along the lines of: "This is excellent, we've been thinking along these lines for ages, why haven't we done this sooner?" With regards to part-time roles and people working too much, please be assured that I will be making sure that the successful applicant doesn't work more than their allotted hours (although this isn't a problem limited to part-time staff). The wider point about part time vs full time roles is much more complicated and I don't really feel qualified to answer that. Thank you. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 11:30, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for the link, Stevie. I've just dropped Alastair an email to suggest that section be clarified to make it clear that it is talking about the coordinator role, and not any other project. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 11:37, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Budget and salary

Now the members have access to the Commons report that recommended this new position to the board, created and published today here, it can be seen that a budget of £10k was put forward to cover 3 months. This included £6.5k for salary. As Mike has highlighted, the minutes of 7th December 2013, say nothing about what the board of trustees agreed apart from "they were in favour of the proposal". Certainly the details of the Comms report do not match the job that has now been publicly announced. Could a trustee or the CEO please confirm exactly what the board of trustees agreed on 7th December and ensure both the budget and associated project plan are promptly published? -- (talk) 12:22, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Meaning of this recruitment to the WMF grant / FDC proposal

My understanding of m:Grants:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round1/WMUK/Proposal_form#Current_entity_staff_and_long-term_contractors was that Wikimedia UK made a firm public commitment to freeze staff numbers for 2014. Considering that only a few months weeks have passed and that Stevie has confirmed that the Charity was in discussions as far back as October 2013, both the board of trustees and the CEO must have been aware this was not the operational strategy that would be followed. Note that the grant did not have final approval by the WMF board of trustees until the end of December 2013. This allowed plenty of time for a public amendment.

Why was the FDC bid presented with false commitments, and why are the charity's funding commitments being broken so early in 2014 (only 17 days since the WMF approved the grant) without returning any of the funds? -- (talk) 17:40, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Rest assured the FDC are aware, Anasuya was actually present at the Board meeting where this exciting decision was made. We like to be flexible and this was a great opportunity completely in line with our charitable objectives. AGF Fae Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 17:58, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I am not assuming bad faith, that is a worn out rebuttal to questions. The FDC proposal is a public record, the only public statement available to me since the proposal was published is this post presenting a done deal. I do not have access to your in-camera meetings, nor do other members of the charity. According to your statement, Anasuya and the FDC was aware of this, and presumably approved of the deviation from the FDC commitment; but failed to say anything publicly. I am surprised that the FDC was not more transparent about how it accepted this concession in December and informed the WMF board in advance of their approval of the proposal, which only occurred two three weeks after the WMUK board meeting you mention. The FDC has a duty to remain transparent, this behaviour appears to fail to be transparent. A public email or note on meta from Anasuya, officially representing the FDC, explaining how the FDC empowered Anasuya to represent the FDC in December and how they kept the WMF BoT informed before finalizing the grant, would be useful for the record. -- (talk) 18:03, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

I have emailed the FDC to ask for a clarification of these agreements.

I remain unclear on the following points:

  1. Whether Anasuya was representing the FDC on 7th December 2013 as appears implied above by Jon Davies' statement "rest assured the FDC are aware".
  2. Whether the FDC, WMUK or Anasuya took steps to inform the WMF Board of Trustees between 7th December and 31st December that the commitments of the FDC bid would not be complied with.
  3. How failures against measurable commitments for performance, financial plans or resource plans made in the FDC proposal are to be publicly reported, may be ignored or renegotiated in non-public meetings/discussions.

-- (talk) 21:28, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks to a helpful trustee for pointing out that in the Christmas rush we had not uploaded Stevie's Comms report to the UK WIKI. Stevie needed to remove something before it could become public but selfishly went on holiday just after the board meeting. When he returned staff who deal with such things, including myself, went on holiday for Christmas. We apologise to the community who could not see this really interesting report until today and to Stevie who has achieved a couple of big wins for the chapter and needed to have his accomplishments made more public. I hope this will answer a few of Fae's questions. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 08:57, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
New reporting processes will be in place for the next and subsequent board meetings that will ensure reports are not held back by accident. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 09:21, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

As my reply here was being edited by Michael Maggs, I have removed it entirely rather than leaving a cherry-picked fragment against my name.

After this unwelcome and unnecessary act of censorship, please consider this thread at an end as I have no expectation of a meaningful reply to my direct questions. -- (talk) 13:28, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Hi Fae, thanks for checking in on this. As we've shared with you on email as well, the annual plan grants supported by the FDC are general support and unrestricted funds - so there is an understanding that each organisation receiving these funds has the autonomy to respond to both opportunities and challenges that are not necessarily in their original plan. Organisations do need to keep the FDC and WMF staff informed, and they do so through their quarterly reports, and/or through any form of formal correspondence (our grant agreements require that any significant variance from plan be shared with the WMF grantmaking team. This then gets conveyed to our committees; in this case, the FDC). The FDC is particularly - and understandably - concerned about full time positions, as they have long term liability implications for organisations, if funding plans should change.
In this instance, it's certainly correct that I was present when the position of the coordinator was discussed at the Board meeting (both Frank Schulenburg and I were there as invited observers; we were present as WMF heads of Programs and Grantmaking, respectively, to be able to learn more of WMUK's current context and future plans), and it was clear from the discussions that this was a short term contract position that was to be hired in the new year (i.e. through the new plan). It was equally clear that the Board of WMUK felt this was an important task that needed some immediate, if bounded, attention. WMUK will share this with the FDC more formally in its first report - in which we ask how plans have changed since the FDC allocations were approved - and I have also asked Jon to offer more details of the position to the FDC to clarify any questions they may have. I have informally shared with the FDC feedback from our visit to WMUK.
Overall, I do believe that WMUK is doing its best to proceed with caution, given the FDC's guidance over the past couple of years. I certainly hope its strategy will prove effective and have good impact on the Wikimedia community and its projects. Thanks, ASengupta (WMF) (talk) 16:22, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for replying publicly here Anasuya, and your expressions of positive support and hopes for the UK chapter.
Based on an absence of assurance otherwise, it is reasonable to conclude from the correspondence on this wiki and my correspondence to the FDC which reiterated these direct questions, that there was no report or notification for the Wikimedia Foundation in advance of 31st December 2013 when Wikimedia UK's grant was authorized based on the FDC recommended proposal. Wikimedia UK was planning a new employed position a couple of months before this date, and the FDC were made aware of it at least by the 7th December 2013. This gave several weeks in advance of the official grant authorization, for Wikimedia UK to notify the WMF that the proposal may have been misleading in stating that there was no plan to increase the number of employees during 2014.
It may well be that the FDC has no specific responsibility to do this on behalf of the UK chapter.
This is a separate issue from how reporting changes to plan are supposed to work after the grant has been awarded. -- (talk) 17:46, 21 January 2014 (UTC)


My comment has been censored without contacting me in advance, I believe wholly unnecessary, here. Apparently, even highlighting when the CEO is being blatantly sarcastic is now a good enough reason for suppression of the concerns of members.

When I finish my correspondence with the FDC, I'm afraid I no longer trust this wiki to make a public statement that would not be subject to later tampering or censorship. I shall instead first provide a summary on the wikimediauk-l email list where the CEO does not have ultimate control and my text will not be re-written without my permission. -- (talk) 13:28, 20 January 2014 (UTC)


I give fair warning that any editor posting personal attacks on staff anywhere on the charity's website may find themselves blocked from further editing without notice. Such behaviour will simply not be tolerated, whether from you, Fae, or from anybody else. All current editors except you are perfectly able to distinguish between engagement with the charity - even critical engagement - which is most welcome, and personal attacks against individuals. Bundling an engagement with the charity in the same posting as a personal attack does not protect the attack from deletion, nor the editor from being blocked. To avoid what you call 'tampering or censorship' editors are expected to comply with normal standards of civility. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:06, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Hi Michael, I believe this boils down to you deciding to interpret Jon's comment "Stevie ... selfishly went on holiday" as a joke of some sort, whilst I read it as sarcastic and explained how that sarcasm appeared to me, I doubt that I would be so unusual as to be the only person that would read Jon's comment as sarcastic given it was in response to a serious question of governance. Considering that a couple of weeks ago I reasonably struck a comment of mine because you thought it would read as sarcasm, your escalation by deleting my comments without discussion and then giving a warning appears more than a little uneven. At the end of the day, you and Jon are free to run this wiki as you see fit, however you might consider laying out the process for warnings and blocking volunteers, even previous trustees or Chairs of the charity such as myself from contributing here in more detail, including the appeals procedure. Presumably to be fair, any procedure would apply equally to employees and be capable of handling complaints.
If I complain that Jon's comment "Stevie ... selfishly went on holiday" was sarcastic, how am I supposed to do that without pointing it out and risking counter allegations of a personal attack? -- (talk) 18:22, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Fae, "false and political" was a personal attack and uncalled for. You're articulate enough to make the point you were trying to make without attacking Jon. But on a broader note, you can't repeatedly undermine the chief executive of a charity on said charity's website and expect no comeback. Even in the Wikimedia world, there are standards of decorum that people are expected to adhere to. Harry Mitchell (talk) 17:40, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
No, you have given a partial quote. In response to Jon's sarcastic comment, I said "appeared" to be so, as indeed it did. This was not an accusation about Jon's person but about his statement/apology.
I certainly agree with you about criticising the CEO on this website. Consider that a lesson learned. -- (talk) 17:53, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
I wasn't intending to distort your quote by taking it out of context, just to point out the part that people are likely to object to. Reasonable people may differ, but I think most people would agree that calling a statement "false and political" is not in keeping with the standards of decorum for a forum such as this. We're all passionate people, and sometimes we disagree (sometimes quite strongly), but we're all working towards (more-or-less) the same ultimate goal, so let's try to remember that when we're disagreeing with each other. Harry Mitchell (talk) 14:52, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Please keep the word "appeared" in the quote thanks. It is the difference between legitimate comment and defamation. Thanks -- (talk) 15:20, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Mentioned in The New York Times

I have been described in the NYT as a "professional misanthrope" by the subject of an article that I nominated for deletion. I am sure a few people here will agree. If I am a professional, shouldn't I get paid or is the work it's own reward? Philafrenzy (talk) 23:34, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

I think that makes you notable. Your own article awaits.--MichaelMaggs (talk) 06:35, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
You should add it to your linkedin profile - you were mentioned in the New York Times on account of your knowledge of "Postage Stamps and Postage History of Seychelles". That probably makes you a world expert! Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 11:10, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
I am too misanthropic to have a Linked In profile Richard! Philafrenzy (talk) 11:24, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Registering in Scotland?

Hi all. A while back WMUK changed the Articles so that it could be registered as a charity in Scotland. Has this been done? I can't find WMUK by searching the OSCR register. There's info about the process at [1]. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 09:02, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

On a slight tangent (partly because I don't personally know the answer to the question) how would any registration of Wikimedia UK in Scotland be affected by a "Yes" vote in the upcoming Scottish independence referendum? Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 09:10, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Richard S may correct me but an amendment to our Mem and Arts is pending for the next AGM which I think unlocks this. This was certainly what I was led to believe when last discussed. Do you have a specific worry about this? Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 09:15, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
The resolution was passed at the AGM back in 2012. I don't have any specific worry - Philafrenzy's comments above just reminded me about this. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 09:29, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
There was, IIRC, a discussion about this at a recent board meeting which has led to an action on me to make sure that this was voted on a second time at the AGM. I don't remember the details but I will ask the Board to direct their attention to this post. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 10:55, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
To quote from an email I've received from Greyham today, "[It is] not really to “re-vote” but to acknowledge that for due compliance with charity law, as CC consent was needed before the new Article could come into effect. That consent was received by email in response to the work Jon and I did on filing amended Articles with the CC, and so all that is needed is a Members’ Special Resolution confirming Art.30 on that basis."
In effect, Greyham is saying that we needed (technically) to check with the Charity Commission before voting on Article 30. Now that we've checked (and updated the Commission), we need to 'reconfirm' the Article. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 13:27, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Richard. That doesn't sound right, though. The change made at the 2012 AGM isn't a regulated alteration, so it shouldn't need CC's permission before being made; CC should just need to be informed after the fact. See [2] for more info. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:28, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Richard can I suggest that we both do a trawl back through Board minutes to familiarise ourselves with the reasons why we thought this needed to come back to an AGM? As far as I can see without going off and spending quite a bit of time on it, the wording of the 2012 AGM motion is sound and the voting process at the AGM. I think Mike is right to say that we don't need Charity Commission permission before we vote on whether we want to make the change to our Articles, but we do need permission from before before we can enact a change.Mccapra (talk) 19:50, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Re-reading the resolution passed by the 2012 AGM I think it could be argued that it was faulty in that is appears to suggest that the members of the charity may alter their articles in the light of the resolution without seeking permission from the Charity Commission, when this is not the case. In fact however the proposed change was agreed and the permission of the Charity Commission was sought (as I understand) so I'm not clear myself what it is that we are taking back to the next AGM, other than a note of what has been done to put the resolution into effect. I don't see that a new resolution is required for anything.Mccapra (talk) 19:57, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Alastair. Just to reiterate: as far as I can tell this is not a change that needs prior consent of the Charities Commission, as it doesn't fall into the scope of the three regulated alteration categories; it just needs them to be kept informed after the fact. It would be worth looking back at the legal advice that we received at the time (I think from Stone King), which was suggesting that we make this change. (I proposed a while back to have a page on the office wiki with an archive of all the legal advice WMUK had paid for, but I'm not sure whether that ever got populated by the staff?) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 06:58, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Hi Mike! I have been talking with Greyham about this behind the scenes. I'm still trying to track down the emails that refer to this, but the Charity Commission's view was that Charity Commission consent was needed before the new Article could come into effect. That consent was received by email in response to the work Jon and Greyham did on filing amended Articles with the CC, and so all that is needed is a Members' Special Resolution confirming Art. 30 on that basis. It's not a 're-vote' so much as a 'confirmation'... does that make sense? I will let you know when I track down the emails. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 15:48, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Richard. :-) It sounds like their emails disagree with their website, or at least my understanding of their website, then - so it makes sense to wait until you find the emails. I don't think there's much of a difference between 're-vote' vs 'confirmation', as what would happen if for some reason they weren't confirmed? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 15:55, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
I've sent you the text of the email we received. Can't post it online as it's private correspondence... Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 16:32, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
The Charity Commission says 'Most England and Welsh charities will need our consent to make the necessary changes to their governing documents so that they can register as charities with OSCR. There is a standard form of wording for both objects and dissolution clauses that we have agreed with OSCR. Charities should apply for our consent and then make any changes in line with the procedures laid out in their governing documents (see our publication Changing your Charities Governing Document CC36). Once the amendments have been made, registration with OSCR can be completed, unless there are other issues affecting the application - which OSCR will advise on.' (see http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/detailed-guidance/protecting-your-charity/charities-working-internationally/english-and-welsh-charities-working-in-scotland/)

This means that the changes in our Articles cannot be put into effect without permission from the Commission, but it doesn't mean that we need prior permission from the Commission before we can ask members to vote on whether they want to make the changes. My understanding is that the AGM voted to make the changes, we then sought permission from the CC and then enacted them. If this understanding is correct there is nothing for members now to vote on. I am very unhappy with the idea of a vote being taken at an AGM to confirm an earlier decision. A decision is a decision and we can't open up some sort of distinction between decisions that have been confirmed and decisions that have not been confirmed. If we are certain that some sort of mistake was made in the process of making this change, we should declare it at the AGM, but this is a statement for information and not a matter on which members should be called on to vote. Mccapra (talk) 17:48, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Richard for sending me a copy of the email. The relevant part of it is that CC believe that this is a change in 'the manner in which funds are applied', and that this is a regulated change. That doesn't appear to agree with the law here, which is 'any alteration of any provision of its articles of association directing the application of property of the company on its dissolution'. However, the page that Alastair linked to links to standard text to use, and what Stone King recommended we add is the standard dissolution phrase (even though CC haven't written it in such a way to imply that is the case). So it does indeed appear to fall into the category of a regulated change. I'm annoyed that Stone King didn't point this out at the time they suggested the change.
That means that the previous vote "is ineffective if such [prior written] consent [of the Commission] has not been obtained." (I'd suggest clearly saying that the last resolution was 'ineffective' rather than talking about a revote or reconfirmation, as that's the wording used in the law.) As such, it should probably be removed from the articles as they appear on this site, and essentially a new vote of members is needed in order to formally add it into the articles now the CC has authorised the change. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 20:27, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
yes now that i understand the background I agree. A new vote is needed. Mccapra (talk) 22:24, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Thanking users for edits

Is there a way for us to implement here the system that exists on Commons whereby we can thank someone for an edit by clicking on an "(undo | thank)" link in the View History page? It doesn't seem to be a gadget, so far as I can see. Is it a feature of a later MediaWiki version than we have on our site? --MichaelMaggs (talk) 14:56, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Installing the relevant extension looks like something for our developers. I'll open a bug on Bugzilla. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:01, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you.--MichaelMaggs (talk) 16:31, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Feedback on the Main Page

In response to Stevie's email about the main page, can I suggest a few tweaks to its text?

  • "They are written and curated by thousands of volunteers, and are supported by voluntary donations, just like Wikimedia UK." - this is not strictly true, as WMUK sadly isn't (yet) written or curated by thousands are volunteers. Also, the aim here should be the Wikimedia projects being supported by voluntary donations *through* WMUK rather than making a distinction between donations to the projects and donations to WMUK! So perhaps rephrase to something like "They are written and curated by thousands of volunteers. They are also supported by voluntary donations through Wikimedia UK and other chapters and the Wikimedia Foundation."
  • "Wikimedia UK is the registered charity" - that should probably mention "in the United Kingdom" or something similar, as other Wikimedia organisations are recognised as charities.
  • "this year we are hosting Wikimania" - has it now been clearly set out that WMUK is hosting Wikimania? The last time I was looking at this, there was a draft agreement being prepared between WMUK and the individuals that bid for Wikimania, but it was still being drafted - has an agreement now been set out and signed? If so, please could a copy be shared on-wiki?
  • The new volunteer/join us/donate buttons are very nice. :-) Can I suggest adding a bit more horizontal padding between the button edges and the text, so that they look a bit less squashed, though?
  • Having 'volunteers' in bold in the 'Get Involved' section looks a bit odd, as it's the only unlinked and non-title bit of bold text on the page. Perhaps it could be turned into a link?

(I also made a formatting/punctuation tweak earlier - hope that was OK!)

It might be worth thinking about doing a more thorough overhaul of the page at some point. It's been developed in a bit of an ad-hoc way over the last few years, and it's starting to show (e.g. with the triple language/logo bar/advert at the top of the page, immediately followed by the 'About Wikimedia UK' bar). Perhaps a mini-competition could be run to encourage volunteers to come up with new concepts for what the page could contain and how it could be laid out?

Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:09, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

The nice big Volunteer button goes to the Volunteering Portal which has loads of text but no clear direction at all as to what to do next. A new visitor would really struggle to go beyond that page, as there is no clear pointer to 'what do I do now'? There could at the very least be a blindingly obvious button to send the Charity an email to get more information. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:25, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
It's being worked on today. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 08:39, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Katie! --MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:51, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Keep the comments coming, all useful, - We are working in the background to make the front page (and the whole UK Wiki) as good as possible in the longer term. The circumstances this weekend have meant that we have had to put together very quickly something as an experiment. If what we are hoping comes off, comes off, then we will learn a lot. We have to be circumspect about it as making it public would probably mean it would be significantly less likely to happen. Sorry to be so cryptic but that is the way it is. With luck we will be praising one special volunteer to the roof on Monday, if not we will still have got the nce new buttons. Have a good weekend Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 09:21, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

in reference to Mike's third bullet point above I think we need to say WMUK is a charity registered in England and Wales. We are not OSCR registered and I don't think the term UK Charity is correct. Can someone check with the charity commission advice on this please? Thanks Mccapra (talk) 13:15, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
I have also asked above whether the term Charitable Company, which we have capitalised, is correct? Is that a separate thing provided for in law. We mention the charitable status on the next line. Philafrenzy (talk) 18:36, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for all of these comments. I'll make some small changes that hopefully take the above into account. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 13:48, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Just one point about Mike's comment on chapters and the WMF etc. That will be meaningless to newcomers, who this is really aimed at. We can think about coming up with something more detailed later on if we need to. But I do take the point on board. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 13:54, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Actually, scratch that. I've made a minor clarification there which I think helps Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 14:02, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Stevie - the changes you've made look good. :-) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 14:10, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
No problem, thank you for your constructive comments!Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 14:13, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

The Donate and Join Us buttons on the main page direct to respective pages that have different (out of date) side bar layouts on the left. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 15:34, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Michael, not sure why that is, other than they don't sit on our wiki. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 16:06, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
The blog is on Wordpress, with a skin to make it look like our website. While the side bar on the wiki has been revised over time, the blog hasn't been kept up to date. At the moment I'm looking into updating the blog. It's a minor thing, but one worth doing for consistency. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:32, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I couldn't work out how to get the headings to quite match, but the links are right at least. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 16:19, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
You should be able to copy-paste the code from the left-hand menu of this wiki to the wordpress template, and it should work - the blog uses CSS from enwp (something that should actually be improved at some point). Let me know if you want any help getting this working - although I no longer have access to this so I can't do it directly atm... Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 17:55, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Stephen Fry

Nice work on that, everyone who made it happen. Is a Facebook post coming on it or is anything else planned to maximise publicity? Philafrenzy (talk) 18:30, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

+1 Good work. Just as Andy has done, I encourage others to think about dropping celebs an email (or a tweet) so they can supply missing photos or audio; your success rate might only be 25% (based on my past experience), and it's made a bit complex having to explain we need a CC-BY release, but always worth a punt.
If this does generate interest, could we also use this as an opportunity to encourage audio and video more generally on Commons? We are particularly poor when it comes to free performances of classic music (or out-of-copyright music), so anyone with an interest in amateur performances or folk music should be encouraged to borrow the chapter's recording kit and have a go. We are also weak when it comes to sound "effects" such as different car engines, cat meowing, market traders calling etc. These may seem odd things to collect, but they can be great for bringing articles to life.
By the way, if you have large collections of free audio or video, drop me or Andy an email. We can arrange batch conversions to free formats for uploading to Commons. This could easily become a pragmatic "help me service" the chapter might be the point of contact for. -- (talk) 18:46, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Hello both. In terms of publicity we're waiting to see if Stephen tweets it. We're hopeful that he will, in which case we could be looking at a spike of, literally, hundreds of thousands of hits an hour. Work has taken place behind the scenes (thanks to Tom Morton) to make sure that our infrastructure can handle it. The real credit for all of this goes to Andy Mabbett, who has been working on this for a long time. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 18:53, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Here's hoping. Who has the next highest number of followers in Britain? Jeremy Clarkson? Do we have his voice? Philafrenzy (talk) 18:59, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
I've had a look at some of the figures which are surprisingly tricky to come by. Mostly, the top ten comprises of members of boy band One Direction, singer Jessie J, BBC Breaking news, Stephen Fry and comedian Ricky Gervais. The good news is that Stephen Fry did indeed tweet about the project here. I'd like to say congratulations to Andy Mabbett for all his work on this project. Tom Morton did a great job on the tech side of things and Katie Chan worked very hard to get the volunteer portal in to a good shape today. All around, an excellent piece of collaborative working that brought together volunteers and staff in a very productive way. More of these collaborations, please! Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 21:39, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, excellent work. There must be a strong correlation between high numbers of Twitter followers and Wikipedia notability so this could certainly happen again. Philafrenzy (talk) 22:00, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Philafrenzy (talk) 12:37, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the links Philafrenzy. I'm collating a report of all of the coverage I can find - lots of people pinging back to our blog post - so will be sure to include these. Some interim figures you may be interested in for now - as of this moment the tracking link has been followed 2,841 times (and climbing steadily), and Stephen's tweet has received over 100 retweets and over 100 favourites. Not sure how that will translate in terms of fundraising, membership and volunteering, but I've had two separate people write to me to get involved in the voices project. Good going so far. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 12:52, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
Any evidence yet of membership applications as a result of this? Philafrenzy (talk) 10:26, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I haven't seen any data on this yet - the alerts don't come to me - but I will look into it and see what I can find. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 10:39, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Hello again. I've aggregated as much of the coverage as I could find and have added it here. Please feel free to add anything I've missed! Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 11:58, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I think you have found most of it! Hoping, however, that we garner more than publicity from the effort. Not sure what we should expect and over what time frame, given the ephemeral nature of a Tweet. Philafrenzy (talk) 12:21, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Completely agree and I'm really looking forward to seeing the figures. I'm completely in the dark about what is reasonable to expect from an increase in traffic to our site, but traffic that isn't familiar with is. Once we get to look at the numbers it will certainly inform the way we approach something like this in the future for recruitment (volunteers and members) and fundraising. I'd certainly welcome any input on those areas once we know what we're working with. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 13:33, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it's far too early for the analysis, but we don't need the publicity as such, we need more members, donors and volunteers. Those will be the indicators where everyone will be looking for a spike in the graph. Philafrenzy (talk) 13:54, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Have there been any membership applications or new volunteers as a result of this yet? (I know it's early) Philafrenzy (talk) 19:25, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Not sure about membership - I know there have been some problems with our database but I shall ask Katherine to see if she can shed any light on the question. In terms of volunteers, there have been four or five people getting in touch about how to get involved with the Wiki VIP project which is promising. Andy has advised me that the link to the homepage is still being retweeted (hence reverting the homepage to show the relevant blog post again). Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 10:58, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
This could have quite a long tail as the same original material is copied over and over again by different outlets. Shows just how the "news" really works. All to our benefit of course. Philafrenzy (talk) 11:58, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
OK, I've spoken with Katherine about this and it appears that we didn't receive any new membership applications that were a direct result of this activity (at least to this point). While there were two larger gifts during the last week, it appears they are also unrelated to the Stephen Fry post. If this is the case, given that the tracking link has been followed 3,986 times so far, I would suggest that this makes quite a compelling case for a major overhaul of our public facing website / wiki. As a community we've had this conversation before but this presents evidence that it should be put back on the agenda. Not a single attributable conversion from almost 4,000 visits is really pretty poor and if we're serious about increasing membership and volunteer numbers we should take notice and see it as a spur to action. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 12:32, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Visitors simply don't understand at first glance (and that's all they give it) who we are and what we do and why they should bother to get involved, or even if it is relevant to them. They don't understand Wikipedia, and they understand us even less. Everyone knows what an animal or children's charity is and it has an immediate emotional pull, but an "open knowledge" charity? Philafrenzy (talk) 12:47, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's definitely a part of the problem - but a problem to which there must be a solution. Working together I'm sure we can find a solution that produces good results. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 12:52, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Fry twitter followers who click on a related link and read it for an average time of 3 seconds are incredibly random (in terms of marketing, people clicking on the link are have no pre-qualification, such as relevant self-selection). The conversion of random surfers likely to be interested in voices of celebrities through to paying £5 or donating to a charity they have never heard of before is unsurprisingly un-measurably minuscule. I believe this has been said on the water cooler by other volunteers in the past, and it has been our past experience with transient social media "trending", but a serious article or editorial in the weekend edition of The Times or The Observer that tells the story of one of our events and their benefits, is far, far, more likely to attract a relevant and educated segment of the British public, thereby providing meaningful numbers of donors, participants in our future events and long term volunteers than a tweet that is popular for a day. By the way, this matches my past experience as a marketing director when I invested some serious money in different advertising channels... nothing worked better than personal contact at events and conferences and in terms of cost per "conversion" it is the most effective "sales" channel.
To test any sales campaign, I strongly recommend not linking to the front page of this website; it is not a targeted sales brochure and should not become just a means of converting internet surfers into donors. A campaign specific landing page would be far more effective that directly hooks into any campaign and provides a targeted explanation of what this charity does and how it benefits the reader based on the nature of the campaign and how prospective donors/volunteers have been qualified. Personally, I see no problem in linking to a webpage separate from this wiki for that purpose and other chapters have done precisely this for similar reasons. -- (talk) 13:34, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
That sounds sensible and I certainly feel that we ought to do more to make our name known. The chapter has a very low profile, and the publicity that it has had has generally been negative. That may have created a feeling that we should "keep our head down" for a while. Fae's suggestion of an article in a quality paper describing a specific project is a good one. Also, I may have missed it but I don't see Jon ever quoted in the media. Our projects are essentially intellectual so they need to have a human angle added in order to create a compelling proposition and to make them newsworthy. Philafrenzy (talk) 14:04, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

(Unindent for ease of reading) So is this representing something of a sea change? I remember when I suggested a couple of months ago that we could make great use of an overlay website as an accompaniment to the wiki it was met with a mixture of incredulity, anger and outrage ;-) Let's be careful how we approach this, though. I can't see any potential future where we spend money on advertising channels (although if there was some way we could contact university students en masse easily and cheaply. I do like the idea of a specific campaign, though. Much of what we have been doing for a long time has involved plenty of tail-chasing. We're becoming more structured now which allows for more planned work and campaigning falls under this. The chapter is gaining visibility, bit by bit. The work on the open coalition is a good part of that, as is the series of residencies with high-profile cultural and educational institutions. Our contributions to the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU will act in a similar way (and I have a volunteer helping me with this). Wikimania represents a great opportunity, and there's the possibility of an evening event at the Science Museum, too - notes on this were published earlier in the week. With regards to Jon being quoted in the media, he's been quoted a fairly decent amount in news stories about us. Sometimes, a lack of consensus (or sometimes, being completely honest, my own fear of community responses) prevents me from feeling entirely confident of making the chapter more available for comment on relevant news stories. Philafrenzy, as you rightly observe, the fact the chapter received some pretty strong negative coverage over a lengthy period also contributed to this. On the subject of getting stories into the quality nationals, well - if it were that easy, everyone would be doing it. That being said, we haven't done too badly, particularly the last couple of months, with the Guardian and Telegraph. There are some feature ideas being developed (such as teaching people to edit). I also have a good working relationship with a journalist from one of the leading quality nationals who is very interested in case studies involving the use of Wikipedia in higher education (especially Oxbridge). I hope all of this is useful. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 14:30, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

I think we need to be clear what our message is before we can communicate it properly, but using case studies with a strong human interest angle is most likely to make a good story. Are we seeking to differentiate ourselves from WMF or Wikipedia and describe our own separate charitable mission? Can we sum up our message in one or two pithy sentences? Philafrenzy (talk) 14:54, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
We have Mission. -- (talk) 15:04, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
As can be reviewed in the archives, what was objectionable to many volunteers was changing parts of the function of this website from an open wiki to a closed one controlled by the CEO and his employees. A website, with very few pages, acting as a "brochure" for the charity, rather than a news service and project hub for members and volunteers (which is what this wiki is for), is little different from publishing the Annual report on-line as a pdf. The trick is to ensure that it is implemented in keeping with our open volunteer-centric values. Just because some webpages are not wikis, does not mean that they cannot be developed and reviewed on-wiki. If the outcomes are achieved using an operational plan and consultation processes truly meeting our shared values of staying volunteer-centric, open, transparent and focused on the mission of the charity, then there can be no "incredulity, anger and outrage". -- (talk) 15:04, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Community consultation - Financial and Expenses procedures

Some changes in WMUK's financial procedures are being proposed to reflect reflect the 2013-14 internal management changes, with the setting up of two Board Committees (GovCom and ARC), the introduction of the QFMR system and also the Board’s Scheme of Delegation of day-to-day management to the CEO.

Community feedback is invited on the two pages below. This consultation will close at midnight on Saturday 1st February 2014.

Please make suggestions/comments on the respective talk pages. Thank you. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 15:19, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Thank you Michael for posting these changes for community consultation. Mike Peel (talk) 17:55, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Why does this need a "community consultation"? It's just rearranging the deckchairs ever so slightly. I wonder about the collective wisdom of the board if it (thinks it) has nothing better to do than fiddle at the edges of procedures that work fine on paper. Harry Mitchell (talk) 17:36, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Harry you're conflating two issues, 1) is whether we need to make these changes ("fiddle at the edges") 2) is whether we need a consultation. On 1, we're working towards good governance and operations practice, this is part of that, the board is working hard. On 2, I'm sure some will agree with you, and others will not. Being open to comments before adopting is low cost. Thanks Sjgknight (talk) 13:37, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
I see nothing wrong with an open process where members can see and comment on the changes; it's a good thing even when not of interest to the majority. Gradual small improvements of Financial procedures is something that I would expect the CEO to work on and then make positive recommendations to the board, rather than eating up a lot of trustee (or other unpaid volunteer) time. The only aspect here that may require members' attention is whether the trustees are doing a good thing by increasingly delegating their authority to the CEO.
Harry, If you feel the board should prioritize or give more oxygen to something else (when I was the chair, I attempted in instil the good board management practice of realistically doing something about a maximum of 5 top risks at one time), then it might be better to point out the risk you feel they are failing to address or openly discuss.
Of the things clamouring for attention, I would say that a decline/lack of growth in membership or active volunteer numbers (compared to 3 years ago), should remain top of the agenda; both for trustees and member discussion. It remains unclear to me how the trustees have been holding the CEO to account for that key performance indicator, which is on the record as being an issue for the last 3 years but never turned into a firm, reported, basic, performance target.
-- (talk) 14:31, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Hi , apologies for the tardiness of my reply. I won't point to any one issues in particular, because someone will inevitably address that specific issue at the expense of the broader point (and I think that's human nature, not an implication of mal-intent, just for the record). My concern is more that the board is busying itself by rearranging the deckchairs than it is about any particular issue. There are plenty of things I can think of that I'd be looking at first, and I'm not much of a strategic thinker, so if I could think of something better to do, there must be lots of things that would seem, to a humble volunteer, to be far more important than renaming policies to "procedures". Harry Mitchell (talk) 18:43, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Harry you seem to have deleted Michael's post (which I'm reposting below). Re: the broader point, we very much encourage any comments you have on the strategy consultation below. Sjgknight (talk) 22:24, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Apologies to Michael; that was unintentional. I'm sure you say that with nothing but sincerity, but the reality is that I'd be wasting my breath—any comments I've offered on such things in the past have been ignored, or at best have been met with a very short response and a promise of a more substantial response that never seems to materialise, so for now, I can think of more productive uses of my time. Harry Mitchell (talk) 13:33, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
+1, understandable. -- (talk) 16:32, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

This consultation has now closed. Thank you for your comments, everyone. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:54, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Trademark agreement

Hi all. With the new Trademark policy in the process of being approved by the WMF, I was reminded about the trademark agreement issue from a few years ago. The new policy says 'These groups enter into agreements with the Wikimedia Foundation, which allow them to use certain Wikimedia marks.' Does WMUK have such a trademark agreement at the moment? I seem to recall that we had an informal letter of understanding from Mike Godwin (WMF legal counsel before Geoff) so that we could make limited use of the Wikipedia trademark, but I can't recall a trademark agreement being set out after that. It might be worth WMUK checking with Geoff to find out what the plans are here, and to provide early comments on any draft agreement that might exist at the moment. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 09:14, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Use of the Wikimedia logo is covered by the Chapter Agreement. I'll leave it for others to comment on the use of other marks. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 10:44, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
A side point, here. I am speaking to the WMF legal team by phone to try to ensure that the new TM policy allows users to make much freer use of the WMF trademarks in conjunction with QRpedia codes. They are broadly sympathetic. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 10:48, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Any news on this? Does WMUK have an agreement in place with the WMF to use the Wikimedia project logos (aside from the Wikimedia logo as per Katie's comment), or will it soon? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 09:57, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
I am almost certain that use of Wikimedia project logos is covered in the chapter's agreement. But, to put your mind at rest, I will write specifically to the WMF legal team to request confirmation. I'll note any reply I receive here. Thank you. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 10:26, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Stevie, unless Mike has some specific concerns about the trademark clauses of the public chapter agreement I don't think you need to do that. Mike: are you just looking for a pointer to Wikimedia_UK_v2.0/Chapter_agreement or did you have something specific in mind? --MichaelMaggs (talk) 11:15, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
have you read 5.2 of the chapters agreement? Trademarks apart from the Wikimedia logo are specifically excluded from being covered in that agreement - a separate one is needed in order for the chapter to use e.g. the Wikipedia logo. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 11:21, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Hello again. I have received confirmation from Geoff Brigham of the legal team at the Wikimedia Foundation. I quote: "Correct. The chapter agreement is the trademark agreement for wmuk." Mike, I hope this puts you at ease but thanks for asking the question. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 14:02, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
It's the trademark agreement for the 'Wikimedia' trademark and logo, but it's explicitly not for the other trademarks. I suggest you ask Geoff again and quote point 5.2 specifically. Feel free to loop me into the email discussion if that would be helpful. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 14:15, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Just to follow this up. Mike, it appears you are indeed correct. WMF legal team are happy to prepare a separate agreement for use of project logos and they are doing so. I'll update with any progress as it happens. Thank you for this. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 11:18, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Stevie. :-) Mike Peel (talk) 11:55, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Community consultation - Strategic Plan 2014-2019

Wiki.png Strategy


As most members and active volunteers will know, the WMUK board and staff have been working on a draft of our Strategic Plan 2014-2019. At the board meeting last December, a plan was put in place to complete the work, with full community consultation, in good time for a final version to be approved at the board meeting in March 2014.

We are now at the stage of asking for community feedback, and your comments are invited on each of the draft strategy pages listed below. The pages flow through, from top level vision and mission down to thoughts on detailed KPIs and annual targets, and they will make most sense if read in the order listed.

(The pages could certainly do with some formatting work to make them easier to read as a whole, and to jump between them. If anyone has time, a navbox would be nice! If no volunteer is able to help out, the task might have to devolve on the staff at some future time). Yes check.svg Done. Did it myself! --MichaelMaggs (talk) 09:05, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Below this, the staff will have a series of day-to-day working spreadsheets with short-term plans, individual event targets etc, as well as links to individual staff objectives.

Please bear in mind when reading these documents that they set out the thoughts and proposals of the board and staff, and that these may well change and evolve as a result of community feedback. Nothing has yet been finally decided.

This consultation introduces quite a number of new strategic elements and ideas. Now is your chance to say, for example, what you think about clarifying the scope of the the charity's mission by adopting the Open Definition of Free Knowledge/Free Content as used by the Open Knowledge Foundation, rather than rolling our own with variable mixtures of the concepts 'open', 'free', 'freely-licensed' and so on.

Other suggestions that you will see in the new pages include the idea of having annual externally-run surveys, particularly to provide hard information on difficult-to-measure impacts such as reputation, and a class of volunteers called Friends (separate from our members and the community of less-formally-related volunteers with whom we work). The Friends list could grow much more rapidly than our members' list, and could be tapped as a 'volunteer resource' when we need someone with particular skills, or in a particular area, etc. Such Friends lists are used very successfully by many charities.

This consultation will close at midnight on 28th February 2014.

Please make suggestions/comments on the respective talk pages. General feedback and comments on the consultation process itself should go to the General feedback page. Thank you. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 15:19, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

A new definitions page has been added for comment: WMUK activities and volunteers. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 10:29, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Community consultation on this draft has now closed. A finalised strategic plan incorporating the consultation feedback will be considered by the board at its meeting in March 2014. Thank you to all who contributed. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 09:04, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

See the announcement below: #Announcing Wikimedia UK's new five year strategy. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 11:04, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

2013-14 Annual Review

Hello everyone, it's time for us to begin working on Wikimedia UK's 2013-14 Annual Review. I've started sketching out some plans for the booklet and would love for people to get involved. If you're interested please do take a look here and leave comments or suggestions. Thank you! Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 11:54, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Liability insurance for OTRS volunteers

Does WMUK's liability insurance for volunteers cover project activities where we may be corresponding through OTRS and to what extent?

For example, I sometimes add tickets to images to confirm copyright status on Commons and these may be in support of WMUK projects. I am particularly interested in scenarios with civil suits for damages against our volunteers from correspondents who may feel they have been treated badly or misrepresented or civil suits by the WMF against an OTRS volunteer. It would be useful to have considered responses based on the terms of the current insurance policy (which is no longer available publicly, certainly I do not have a copy) and potentially an official statement from the charity, rather than informal or speculative replies.

I have raised a suggestion for a risk warning notice at m:Talk:OTRS/Volunteering#Liability_and_risk_warning_for_prospective_volunteers.

Thanks -- (talk) 10:24, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Wikimedia UK only ever intended to have insurances for volunteers while they are "undertaking activities, officially, on behalf of Wikimedia UK". Acting as a volunteer on WMF OTRS is not, has not, and will never be considered as acting on behalf of WMUK. This extend to Wikimedia project activities in general such as editing Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons etc. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the official clarification. There seems a slight contradiction in the statement as a volunteers can and do take part in projects officially funded by Wikimedia UK which are advised to use OTRS as a process for confirming copyright releases, there are many examples and this is a normal part of our official training courses for volunteers. If all WMF OTRS activities are not and have never been covered by our insurance, then this is a definite change in official policy since we first purchased the insurance when I was a trustee. Thanks -- (talk) 13:25, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Hi Fæ. My memory agrees with Katie's. However, if it were part of a WMUK activity then I'd have thought that part of it would be covered, e.g. if someone raised an issue with being advised to contact OTRS then that would be covered, but if someone had been involved on OTRS in processing the release and applying it to the projects then they wouldn't be covered as that couldn't be counted as an action on behalf of WMUK. It would be good to see a clarifying wiki page setting out what counts as a WMUK activity (particularly when talking about 'officially') and what doesn't, though. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 21:31, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I will discuss this with our insurers when I am back at work next week. In the meantime, and without documents to hand, my recollection is that volunteering for the WMF as part of the Volunteer response team (OTRS) is not and never has been covered by our insurance. Mike is right that this needs clarification, but in the meantime if anyone has any concerns about whether they are covered for a particular activity, they should email myself or Jon and we'll check. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 22:32, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Great, thanks, it would be good to have a clear official statement. The documents always used to be on the office wiki as well as previously available to all volunteers on this wiki. I would recommend keeping them on the office wiki so that they are easy to find for anyone with access and so that any trustee, contractor, staff member or others with access can answer questions about insurance for volunteers on our projects.
As an active volunteer can I have a copy of the current insurance policy as it relates to my activities please? Thanks -- (talk) 17:06, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
I will discuss this with our insurers too. Last time I spoke with them, they advised against circulating copies of our full policies, especially online - we wouldn't be able to ensure they were kept securely. I will try and get an answer for you. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 18:19, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
I was asked to remove a statement that I had professional indemnity insurance from my website, even though it was a legal requirement for me and everyone else in the same profession to hold it. I think the insurers here are probably more worried that publicising the cover will encourage claims somehow, rather than anything else. Why would the policy details need to be kept secure really? Philafrenzy (talk) 00:56, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Insurance details do not need to be kept secure from the insured parties, in fact I believe there is a legal requirement on an insurance company to provide access to the policy to the insured (i.e. volunteers for Wikimedia UK). My impression from this discussion is that Wikimedia UK has refused to provide a copy of the insurance policy, or access to it, in response to a request from an insured party. As the legal definition of insurance is a contract between the insured and the insurer, if the insurer is now requiring Wikimedia UK to keep the contract secret from the insured, then the contract can be considered invalid.
If someone were to provide me with the name of the insurance company and the policy number, then I am happy to offer to spend my time giving them a phonecall (as an insured party) and provide some factual feedback here, rather than wasting any more employee time on this bureaucracy/game of Chinese whispers. Thanks -- (talk) 06:52, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Fae, as I said earlier, "I will discuss this with our insurers when I am back at work". I am now back at work, have dealt with the most urgent tasks, and can focus on requests from volunteers: I have also received a reply from the insurers. I must impress upon you the need for patience, this sort of thing can't be hurried.
You will be pleased to know that I have spoken to the insurers and that although they have reservations about making the policy public, I have discussed this with Jon, and we have agreed that the risk to the charity is minimal. I will email you a copy of the policy as soon as I have time - I expect this will be in the 24 hours. You will note that you are probably not covered for the data protection risks that doing OTRS volunteer work for the WMF involves. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 16:05, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Sent! Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 16:34, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Received. Unfortunately this is not the relevant policy. You have emailed me a copy of the current privacy protection/breach insurance (supplied by Hiscox) that as I recall the charity only started purchasing after the WMF made it a requirement of payment processing. It is a form of technical insurance for data, which specifically excludes liability resulting from any services provided by the charity, so it not only excludes volunteers from its cover, it actually excludes services from employees or contractors.
Could you supply the correct insurance policy that is relevant to the activities of the charity and to which I believe I and all other active volunteers are insured parties? Thanks -- (talk) 17:26, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Of course. There are a few redactions I'll have to make, but I'll try and get it to you in the next few days - it's a much bigger policy and is printed on weird embossed paper so I'll need to scan the pages individually (they don't go through the feeder properly). Out of interest, what is it you'd like to check? Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 19:39, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
As an insured party I would like to exercise what I believe is the normal legal advice that parties to a contract read the contract. I believe all unpaid active volunteers for the charity would be sensibly advised that they should understand and have access to any insurance policy that applies to their activities before volunteering to deliver services or benefits on behalf of the charity. Should I ever be sued for damages when working as an unpaid volunteer for the charity, for example as a result of volunteering to support an editathon, when I have records showing every reason to believe that I am covered by appropriate insurance, I do not want to be caught out by only then finding out that the Chief Executive had made a decision at some point to renegotiate the terms of the policy and not tell me or any other volunteer about it.
That the insurance company Wikimedia UK has chosen as a supplier appears to be putting up apparently arbitrary obstacles in the way of sharing the insurance policy with the insured parties, I find not only bizarre but in all likelihood would be found unacceptable behaviour by the Financial Services Authority. If you are defining policy for Wikimedia UK, it may be worth checking directly with the FSA on this point, rather than relying solely on what might be a misguided middle-manager within the insurance company. -- (talk) 20:47, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
As I have said, I will be sending you the insurance policy as soon as I can. No-one has put up any barriers. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 11:03, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
The barrier as described in this thread has been introduced by the insurance supplier by insisting that Wikimedia UK remove the policy from the website, where members and volunteers could easily access it, and volunteers have to ask for a special redacted version to be created which required authorization from the Chief Executive which may or may not be granted based on unspecified criteria and may take several days. -- (talk) 11:41, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Cultural Outreach Limited

Cultural Outreach Limited has been established as a wholly-owned non-trading subsidiary of Wikimedia UK for the purpose of holding the charity's rights in QRpedia. It has been recommended that we appoint two independent directors, in addition to Jon Davies. Yesterday, the board formally approved the intended appointment of Mike Peel and Doug Taylor as directors of the company. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 09:13, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Was that the WMUK board or the Cultural Outreach Limited board? Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 22:03, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
The WMUK board.--MichaelMaggs (talk) 22:23, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Two questions for Mike and Doug now they have a majority vote:

  1. Are you going to govern COL independently of the WMUK board or defer to WMUK for matters such as who is to be a director or changes in policy and legal foundation?
  2. Will you keep the CEO of WMUK as a director of COL forever, or would you prefer to become truly independent? -- (talk) 10:21, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
My knowledge of company law is limited at best, but if COL is a wholly owned subsidiary, surely there's a limit to how independent its directors can be? It looks to me like this was mostly a formality—the risk of one person going under a bus (for example) and being unable to discharge their duties is relatively high; the risk of three people all going under the same bus is slightly lower, which is why it makes sense to have multiple directors, even if they don't have an awful lot of work to do. Harry Mitchell (talk) 13:28, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
The scope of QRpedia (a worldwide service supporting multi-language access to Wikimedia projects and potentially non-Wikimedia projects in the future) is very different from the mission of Wikimedia UK. In this sense it can never be purely a "subsidiary" managed by the Wikimedia UK board, it is only circumstance that has resulted in Wikimedia UK hosting the service for the open knowledge community. If the COL board is independent, then it will be freer to invite board members committed to QRpedia with no connection to the UK and look at potential partnerships or future hosts for the service without having any vested interests in doing this in ways that benefit Wikimedia UK. However you look at it, the CEO of Wikimedia UK is always going to have a vested interest in benefiting the organization he manages.
The trustees of Wikimedia UK are perfectly well aware that it is a requirement on them by the Charity Commission to consider if services of the charity can more effectively or efficiently deliver outcomes for the beneficiaries if made independent or handed over to another organization. Creating COL as an organizationally separate entity may provide the means for it to separate itself from Wikimedia UK entirely at some future date, and the COL board should be free to take this option if that is in the best interests of keeping the QRpedia service available and maintained. For example, if in 2015 the WMF decides chapters were always a waste of money and would rather set up regional offices, then the WMUK board might decide to close the charity down and pass all assets to the WMF UK office; if the COL were independent then they might refuse to be passed to the WMF and instead either join another organization (such as the OKF) or create their own funding stream as a global organization with no contract binding them to the WMF. -- (talk) 17:46, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Harry is quite right. Cultural Outreach Limited has been set up by Wikimedia UK as a vehicle to hold the QRpedia rights. QRpedia is now being maintained for the community by the charity, and the charity will naturally retain full control via its controlling shareholding. That is perfectly normal, and there is no legal possibility for Cultural Outreach Limited, as a subsidiary, to do anything that damages the charity. There is no wedge that can be driven between a company and its subsidiary in the manner suggested. And it is important that that is the case, since otherwise Wikimedia UK could not guarantee to protect for the community (its beneficiaries) the rights it holds. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 20:02, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification Michael. I have no idea why Mike and Doug would want to be directors with no delegated authority to do anything; it sounds exceptionally pointless. -- (talk) 21:14, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
We identified a risk that needed addressing i.e. me going under a bus. As the sole director that could cause problems. Therefore we decided we needed to expand the board to address this. With luck, and careful cycling, this will never be needed. I think Mike and Doug's motivation, as ever, is to help the charity and I thank them for it. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 10:41, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
As a point of clarification, my two questions were for Mike and Doug now they have a majority vote. Views and speculation as to how Mike or Doug might have responded (had they been quick enough), from other parties are useful, so thanks for that, but they are not the replies from the new directors that I was asking for.
By the way, I was on the board of trustees when we decided to create COL, it was actually my proposal that we set up such a company, so I am perfectly aware of why we made that decision and my two questions were asked with that knowledge and perspective. However, thanks to Jon for jogging my memory. -- (talk) 11:29, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
The directors of COL are required by companies law to act in the best interest of the company for the benefit of its members. As COL is a wholly owned subsidiary of WMUK, that would be the benefit of WMUK. In terms of appointment of directors, that is again a matter for the members of the company, which is WMUK, and not the directors themselves.
The directors of a wholly own subsidiary company are independent in the sense that they do not take instructions from WMUK in the normal course of business, but they are still required to act for WMUK benefit. If WMUK wish to transfer its assets to a hypothetical WMF regional office (as permitted by law), then that's for WMUK to decide. The directors (as directors) of a company don't have a veto on who own that company, that's for the owner(s) to decide. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 12:03, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

I actually said nothing about having a power of a veto, neither did I assume that COL was independent, nor did I say that COL might do anything, anything at all, against the interests of Wikimedia UK or that they might "do anything that damages the charity" (Michael's chosen words), just that the QRpedia service potentially goes beyond Wikimedia UK's mission and that COL might be usefully independent of Wikimedia UK in the future. My questions were directly asked of Mike and Doug, though as employees and the Chairman of Wikimedia UK have intervened and chosen to interpret my questions as some kind of threat, I would guess they would not say anything that did not mirror what has already been said.

Let me just clarify what I thought was obvious but apparently not. My asking these questions is not a threat to Wikimedia UK, I expected answers from the new directors to clarify their viewpoint. I do not expect members of a charity to get shot down through a process of reductio ad absurdum for asking pretty straightforward questions. If Wikimedia UK closes down, or gets taken over in a way that changes its mission, for any reason in the next 100 years, I would expect COL to run independently if QRpedia is still being used. If the answer is that it the Chairman or the board of trustees forbids anyone considering if COL could ever be independent of their control in order to better deliver the service to beneficiaries, then the original concept of guaranteeing the QRpedia service in perpetuity or as long as it is in demand, seems less than meaningful. -- (talk) 12:25, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

I find it ironic to read "It's also a good thing for the movement that it's possible to "spin off" projects like this, which the Foundation has decided are no longer core activity, to other entities" (Chris Keating, today on Wiki Education Foundation). If WMUK believed the same might be true of itself rather than just the WMF, then "possible" means we should be free and encouraged to discuss options without it being interpreted as a threat that might damage the charity. -- (talk) 13:41, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
The opposite is happening here; the charity has recently "spun-in" QRpedia - as you are aware. As a result QRpedia is controlled by Wikimedia UK. If your preferred option was for a third-party non-profit independent of Wikimedia UK to hold QRpedia, then you were very quiet about it in the many conversations that happened about this in 2012 and 2013. The Land (talk) 14:11, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
To repeat, as you appear to have missed the point made above, I asked a question of Mike and Doug about how independently COL would operate in the future. This might make it easier to spin off the service but this is not a case of me proposing that nor have I said, anywhere, that I prefer it.
QRpedia was not "spun-in", it was a free gift of a non-Wikimedia project and non-Wikimedia service to the Wikimedia movement from Roger and Terence that, primarily due to your personal objections and then after you negotiated the position of Chairman and took control of the QRpedia agreement from me, then took an incredibly long time to accept. I was not quiet about the alternative options, the idea of the management company being a service controlled by WMUK trustees was never my recommendation. Considering the problematic history of the agreement process, I certainly would never have recommended that the WMUK CEO was the sole director, this was how Saad decided to set it up later on. Perhaps you recall the equivalent difficult discussions about trainer certifications which I always held was a service that was a poor fit to Wikimedia UK's mission and would be usefully a separate service?
Factoring out services and only taking on services that are core to the charity's mission was always something that I took seriously as a trustee, especially considering that the charity has no track record of benchmarking itself to demonstrate it has the capability to perform these services more effectively or efficiently than other organizations. In the light of the board of trustees preferring to not adopt efficiency as a key performance indicator in its new strategy, I guess that these decisions will continue to be based on subjective foundations and personal judgement. -- (talk) 15:32, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
Hi Fae - You are perfectly aware of the fact that Cultural Outreach Limited are owned by Wikimedia UK, and therefore that the directors do not have independence of action. So you cannot be in any genuine doubt about what the directors of COL will do. I am not clear why you are asking the question, given that you know the answer, but my assumption is that it's to try to make some kind of point about something or someone. The Land (talk) 17:22, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
I asked the question of Mike and Doug in order to understand their viewpoint. This is exactly what I wrote above. I am no longer a trustee, nor am I in a political campaign against you. Thanks for your on-going concern for me and your thoughts about what motivation I might have. -- (talk) 17:34, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
I note that only 15 minutes after making a pointy comment about my motivation here (and after 4½ months of no edits, which has raised questions about canvassing on IRC), you made this extremely personal comment in my Commons RFA. Surprising for a trustee of Wikimedia UK and quite visibly carrying your disputes into the projects that are irrelevant there. -- (talk) 17:58, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
What I've posted on your Commons RFA is nothing different to what I told you directly last summer. My views haven't changed since then. I shan't be commenting further in this thread as it is far enough off-topic already. Regards, The Land (talk) 18:11, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
I do not recall you making ill judged defamatory comments about me in public. I find your statement that I have "an ability to lose friends [and] alienate people which is almost unparalleled" to be a direct personal attack that I would expect accounts to get blocked for on this wiki as harassment. I am amazed that any trustee believes it is okay for them to behave so appallingly in public when commenting about Wikimedia UK matters on a Wikimedia project where they are known to be on the board of Wikimedia UK. -- (talk) 20:45, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
Hi Fæ. I'm still working through the organisation's paperwork before I decide whether to accept the role or not (see User:Mike Peel/Cultural Outreach Ltd for details). I don't know about Doug, but until we accept the role and are formally appointed we certainly don't have a majority vote. With regards (1), I understand that the governance of the organisation should be done independently of WMUK but should, of course, heavily involve consultation with the stakeholders, of which WMUK is the primary one given that they are the sole shareholder. With (2), this is an interesting question that needs to be thought about, and decided upon based on the level of independence that needs to exist between COL and WMUK. I don't know the answer here yet. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:58, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Mike. I appreciate your response and its clear distinction from what has been stated above. -- (talk) 23:28, 13 February 2014 (UTC)


Will the related domains of qrpedia.net, qrpedia.org.uk and qrpedia.co.uk, held respectively (according to whois.com) by Wikimedia UK, Michael Peel and the Bamkin family, also be transferred to COL? TheOverflow (talk) 23:35, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Note that qrpedia.org.uk has been transferred to WMUK ownership, but it seems we still haven't managed to convince nominet to update their records to reflect that. :-( I don't know if the domains need to be owned by COL rather than WMUK, as there is a difference between the implementation and the rights-ownership here. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:58, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
A couple of weeks have passed and neither have the ownership details been changed nor any official comment made. Given the donation, and the decision to isolate the rights/responsibilites in qrpedia, wouldn't it make sense to move all the related domain names to the one legal owner? TheOverflow (talk) 03:25, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Could we have an update, or at least an answer, please? Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 17:39, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
The question of whether the domain registrations owned by WMUK are listed by the respective Registrars as WMUK or COL does not matter from the legal point of view. The staff are still trying to get Nominet to correct its records regarding qrpedia.org.uk to reflect the fact that ownership of that domain was transferred some time ago from Mike Peel to WMUK. We will maintain that domain, though it is not actually used by the QRpedia system. As to the other domains, they are not used by QRpedia and there is no intention that they ever will be. The charity has had legal ownership and control of all the necessary domains for some time, and we will not be actively attempting to control or acquire other domains which happen to include the text 'qrpedia' (.uk, .us, es or whatever). They are of no interest to us, and there is no particular legal consequence of third parties acquiring or maintaining such unused domains. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 11:22, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
This appears to be answering a general question about random domains. The question asked a month ago was specifically about "qrpedia.net, qrpedia.org.uk and qrpedia.co.uk". As a past chairman of the charity, I am aware all these three domains have been specifically discussed by the board and the board has a viewpoint. As such there could be a specific answer rather than disappointingly dismissing the question as "no particular legal consequence". -- (talk) 12:16, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
The general issue is of interest to quite a few people following a recent discussion of an unrelated .es domain by the Tech Committee, which is why I addressed it. If the question is "will we be asking the respective registrars to list COL on their records rather than WMUK?" the answer is probably not since the crucial issue is which legal entity actually owns the domains, not who is shown on the registrar's listing (which is not the same thing at all). COL owns all the IP rights and all the necessary domains, which is the reason for its existence. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 15:10, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
I was unaware of a "discussion of an unrelated .es domain", could someone provide a link to the discussion here, so that all members can benefit from it? Thanks -- (talk) 15:42, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
[3] and [4] are the threads on the tech list. It seems that you need to join the mailing list in order to see the archives at the moment. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 15:48, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
Could someone change the list to make it public please? There are obvious benefits to being able to provide links to discussions that anyone can follow without joining the list. -- (talk) 15:50, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
Requested as Bug 224. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 15:53, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
(ec) By the way, domain registration may not be the best legal device to prove ownership in a court of law, but considering the mission of the charity is to be transparent in its operations, ensuring that the public record does not obfuscate or otherwise mislead as to the nature of the property or assets of the charity should be a given. Transparent should mean publicly transparent, especially for our members, donors and volunteers, not just those such as employees or trustees that have access to in-camera or unpublished records. -- (talk) 15:50, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
qrpedia.net and qrpedia.org.uk details has been updated. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 12:30, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the update. TheOverflow (talk) 00:26, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

GLAM-Wiki toolset staffing

Hi all. I'm not sure where to ask this, so I hope it's OK I'm asking it here. I was surprised to learn recently that the GLAM-Wiki toolset/mass upload tool only had one developer working on it, which was part of why it really struggled as a tech project. My memory from the initial documents was that there was going to be a lead developer with a number of other developers working alongside them on a part/fractional time basis, with the lead developer being ~50% of the person-time working on the project and the others making up the rest, but the comments I've seen seem to disagree with that (and seem to be a major factor in why the project wasn't successful, along with the lack of code review resource, and a general lack of close and ongoing links with the WMF developers). Can I ask what happened here, please? Did something change part way through the project? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 09:55, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

I have followed the email discussion about this with interest, being a member of the Steering Group, particularly as there seems a misapprehension that this is a Europeana project or tool rather than one owned by the Wikimedia community. There is a team of people within Europeana who have been working on the toolset in the past year, recently Dan was the last remaining team member completing the work, primarily due to an extended unplanned delay of several months caused by the WMF. The team had different types of Agile development roles, but there was no point in the Steering Group finding funds to keep the team contracted to hang around waiting for the WMF to do their thing, when we only needed one point of contact to handle any bugs or last minute new operational requirements that the WMF might create. If you have detailed questions I suggest raising them on the discussion page at Commons:Commons:GLAMwiki Toolset Project; you may be interested in how the Agile approach chosen has been able to deliver the tool even with a major budget shortfall against plan. As for the WMF's feedback on the project, they are more than welcome to video conference in to Steering Group meetings, where they have been repeatedly invited, and we will write up any feedback they have; I have no idea why Erik feels he needs to use various email lists to do this for the first time.
The project has yet to be launched, we will do this with a set of initial GLAM case studies (Àlex <kippelboy> is working inside Europeana to make the launch a success) but the system is live and (finally) integrated into Commons as a special page available to those with the GWToolset right. If someone has been saying the project has failed, it would be useful to put them right by pointing to the facts. -- (talk) 11:43, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
I think Fae is right - this is a question for the GW Toolset people and Fae specifically. Maybe Jonathan Cardy can help too. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 13:40, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
To answer Mike's original question, there was a change part way through the project when some of the other chapters withdrew from the consortium because they needed the money for other things, as a result the scope of this phase was reduced, but still includes a mass upload tool. We still need various other features including a mass extract tool, but that would require more funding. Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 17:45, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Hi Fæ and all. Thanks for your replies. There seems to be a mismatch here between what's been said in the email discussion about this, particularly by the WMF, and what is being said here. Perhaps it's an over-simplification on the WMF's part, but it might be worth clarifying this, or generally gathering feedback from stakeholders about what the issues were here and what could be done better next time (I suspect that trying to do that at a video con is not the best approach - better to invite written text). Fæ, I haven't heard anyone say that the project has failed, but it doesn't seem to have been a successful project from my perspective in terms of how it has worked overall, even though the end product has been created (and I look forward to seeing it in action). But perhaps I'm being premature in saying that. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 18:32, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
As Wikimedia UK pulled out of supporting or funding the project a year ago, I suggest anyone with feedback or questions raise them on the Commons project pages rather than on this chapter wiki. Neither the project team, nor the Steering Group keeps a watch on this website. -- (talk) 12:14, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

Use of NoIndex on this wiki

I agree with the use of noindex directives to stop search engines indexing out-of-date content on this wiki. However, at the moment it's excessive. The {{historical}} template marks pages as noindex: this is appropriate for old drafts or meeting minutes, but there are lots of pages about our work which are archived yet we still want very visible to the public. If someone hears that Wikimedia UK ran an education conference in 2012, or a GLAM-Wiki conference in 2010, or a training event with the Society of Biology, it's logical for them to search for details, and they might not get any results because search engines have been told not to index those pages. It also hurts our search engine placement because links in to those pages won't be counted towards the ranking of the whole site. Can we have a solution that distinguishes historical-and-outdated from no-longer-updated-but-we-still-want-the-public-to-see? MartinPoulter Jisc (talk) 15:10, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

The use of noindex was my idea, to make it easier for people to reach current events through search engines. I didn't realise it might negatively effect search engine placement. It might be worth having two templates: one for out of date pages which don't need to appear in search engines, and one for past events where people may still be turning up looking to learn what happened. Does that sound like it might work? Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:18, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Good spot Martin. I'd err on the side of not using NoIndex unless it's old drafts. Even on meeting minutes people might well search for something. This is something where having better internal navigation would also help. Sjgknight (talk) 15:26, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure it makes sense to have pages here noindex'd except possibly if there are specific reasons to do so - certainly it shouldn't be a blanket approach. Why not add a parameter onto the historical template so that individual pages can be set to index=no or similar to activate the noindex code? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 17:33, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Added it as a parameter. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 14:00, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Katie. I've also added it to {{Talk archive}} and {{Historical/Job description}}. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:59, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Mediawiki Extensions (and highlighting Thanks feature)

I notice we now have the 'Thanks' extension installed, which is nice. So, if you haven't spotted it yet - check it out (top right when you look at a page diff, or next to 'undo' on the revision history lines).

I can think of some things semantic extensions might be useful for...but a bit involved for the benefits, but was wondering if there were other things we could/should be asking tech to look at setting up on this Wiki? I'm not sure how excited I am about Flow, but at some point discussion on discussion is probably a good idea! Sjgknight (talk) 14:49, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

I don't think we should be beta testing things on this wiki as we don't have the volume of edits to make it worthwhile from a development point of view, and we don't have the same level of technical support in case things go disastrously wrong. I have no objection to anything that is tried and tested however. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 01:35, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
Thryduulf's points are very good ones that I agree with. The counter-argument would be that as we don't have such a volume of edits here, it would be better to try things out on this wiki compared with enwp so that bugs can be caught without a high cost. However, I tend to view that as an argument to try things on smaller wikipedias first rather than on enwp, rather than trying them on chapter wikis... Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:00, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
I can see points on both sides there, if there's anything worth playing with (established or otherwise) we can cross that bridge then :-) Sjgknight (talk) 22:03, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Membership Survey 2013

Hi all,

I have just published the results of a lot of hard work from User:Thryduulf in producing the reporting into the 2013 Members survey. Do have a look at WMUK membership survey - 2013 report.

It may make sense to ask questions on the talk page of the highlight report. Staff are still thinking about how to carry the report forward and implement recommendations for improvements. There is an intention to re-run the survey in around six months, possibly to co-oincide with Wikimania activities if that will improve response rates and expanded to included volunteers (with an option for respondents to indicate that they are members)

We'll hopefully write a blog about it to go out next week, and can try and include some answers to questions in that as summary if there are some headline themes.

Thanks! Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 15:36, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Very interesting stuff - thanks Katherine and Thryduulf! The Land (talk) 20:09, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
The demographic data seems to be missing? Philafrenzy (talk) 00:24, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Due to the confidentiality issues involved, I was not given the demographic data to analyse and so it doesn't form part of this report. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 10:26, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
I think that is correct (and it was me that suggested that as the correct approach). I assume, however, that we will get it in summary form in due course. Philafrenzy (talk) 10:46, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Did anyone have any thoughts on item 18 in the survey findings? It seemed rather odd to me. Mccapra (talk) 06:20, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
Which aspect of it do you find odd? The interest in paywalled material, the lack of interest in welcome gifts or something else? Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 11:43, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
The point about access to paywall protected tools. Maybe I misunderstood it? Is the point that there are some tools which people need to use which have a cost to them, and that members were asking for WMUK to defray those costs? I originally read it as meaning that there was a wish for us to erect paywalls and then give members privileged access to the material behind them, but I don't suppose that can be what was meant.Mccapra (talk) 15:03, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
It'll be in reference to access to journal subscriptions and the like Sjgknight (talk) 15:07, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it's about WMUK paying for access to material that is published behind paywalls erected by ohters - journals mostly but possibly also newspaper archives. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 15:53, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
Ah OK thanks. In that case we should probably investigate. Mccapra (talk) 16:20, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

Announcing Wikimedia UK's new five year strategy

Dear community

I am very pleased to be able to announce that the board of Wikimedia UK has formally adopted a five year strategy for the charity.

The strategy sets out not only our mission ("to help people and organisations create and preserve Open Knowledge, and to help provide easy access for all") but also the way in which we aim to achieve that in practice.

To ensure that our day-to-day activities are closely focussed on attainment of our mission, we have committed to record and publish a wide range of measured outcomes which will indicate, on an ongoing basis, how we are performing against a range of strategic goals. These measured outcomes will build up over time into a comprehensive picture of the practical impact the charity has been able to make.

In preparing the strategy we consulted widely with own Wikimedia UK community, the Wikimedia community at large, other chapters, the Wikimedia Foundation, and interested individuals. The draft strategy documents were open for public consultation during the month of February, and feedback received was taken into account along with staff and board contributions. We have replied to the community feedback on-wiki.

We are confident that as the end result of this process we have a robust strategy that will serve us well in the years to come. It will enable us to maintain and track challenging but achievable targets while retaining operational flexibility to focus our day-to-day efforts on whichever individual activities and initiatives will best help us achieve practical impact.

We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the process, and we look forward to continuing to work with the community with renewed focus and vigour.

Best regards, --MichaelMaggs (talk) 11:02, 10 March 2014 (UTC) (WMUK Chair)

Referendum on Scottish independence

In a previous Engine Room discussion Stevie Benton asked a question about this topic which went on to become a conversation about WMUK's charitable status in Scotland. I don't think Stevie's question was fully addressed, and so can I now ask it to be given some consideration. In the event of a 'Yes' vote, have the consequences been considered both for Wikimedia UK (or might that be Wikimedia rUK?) and WMUK funding? I appreciate that people might not want to speculate on political possibilities, but in a way that's the point: it is a possibility. Graeme Arnott (talk) 22:30, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

I would also back this request for consideration. I imagine that the discussion has been had, but I don't any kind of contingency plan in the event of Scottish independence, or even a note/suggestion on what would be an advisable course of action. Given that this could, potentially, be a significant concern for the 2014-2019 plan, I think it would be good to at least have the conversation publicly now. To some extent it would be speculation, yes, but the impact of the referendum is a topic that is being logistically discussed by other organisations both in Scotland and elsewhere, and I know I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts. I'm not 100% sure what I would even suggest myself, so I would definitely appreciate seeing some possibilities raised, however rough they may be at this time. ACrockford (talk) 12:09, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
A fascinating area to speculate on and I would be interested to hear community thoughts on this. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 14:58, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
Just a really quick take on this (although I should be out in the sunshine!), I think it's an important question. My initial thinking would be that we could continue to support the work in Scotland as an element of our international support which is somewhere in the activity plan. But a contingency plan would certainly be worthwhile. I, too, would love to hear what others think about this - especially in the context of the excellent work that Graeme, Ally and others are doing in Scotland. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 15:23, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
Having a vague idea on what it will mean for us in the event of a yes vote is probably worthwhile. However, we don't need to work on detailed specific until and unless there's a yes vote. There will be a period after a yes vote where negotiation will take place between Scotland and rest of the UK on the specific of the separation, and we can use that time. It's not like a yes vote is announced and Scotland will be independent the very next day. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 16:08, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, something we need to give some thought to and haven't really - though worth pointing out that any English-based charity that does work in Scotland will face the same issue!
Some initial thoughts (which are all personal and not remotely a Board view!)
There probably wouldn't be the necessity for anything to change quickly. We will before too long be registered as a charity in Scotland as well as in England & Wales; and even if we weren't, our charitable objects and our Chapters Agreement with the Wikimedia Foundation would still allow us to operate in Scotland, even if Scotland was a fully independent country.
What happens in the longer run would naturally be down to Scottish Wikimedians. It's quite conceivable that we could continue as a "multinational" organisation indefinitely, and I'm sure many organisations on both sides of the border will do exactly that. But if there was a strong call from the community to set up a new Wikimedia Scotland I can't see WMUK trying to object. There are some things that we wouldn't be able to pass on to a separate legal entity (e.g. we couldn't give names/addresses of members/donors in Scotland to a hypothetical new chapter, because of the Data Protection Act) but otherwise I hope we would be as helpful as possible. It's also quite possible that there might be pragmatic reasons to create a new Wikimedia Scotland - if the two countries end up with different currencies with highly variable exchange rates, for instance, or if the Scottish government were to decide to make generous grants to organisations headquartered in Scotland....
But yes, something to think about... The Land (talk) 21:06, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
I'd say that's a sensible view to take; we can continue operating in an independent Scotland, and if a prospective Scottish chapter forms, we can support them. Would it be worth considering creating a subsidiary to operate in Scotland if there were benefits to having separate entities like those you suggest, Chris? Harry Mitchell (talk) 17:22, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

In terms of data protection, my understanding (and it may be wrong) is that it would be possible to share member information with a Wikimedia Scotland, which would be after a vote) if we have consent from members to do that. It may be worth seeking legal opinion on the desirability of something like "Subject to the laws of England and Wales and Scotland, we may share the information of members or donors who are resident in Scotland with a Wikimedia chapter recognised by the Wikimedia Foundation as the national chapter for Scotland.". It would surprise me if either country thought it in their interests to restrict data-sharing between them, but when politics gets involved it is probably wisest not to bet against any course of action. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 01:12, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your all your input folks. It's good to get the conversation started, even if it can't go much further at present. Although the 'official' media polls show No in the lead, at street level Yes tends to have a 60+% poll. Just less than six months to go and still plenty to play for. Graeme Arnott (talk) 13:03, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Update licence to CC-BY-SA 4.0?

Hi all. I'd like to suggest updating the default license used by WMUK (both here, and through image uploads etc.) to CC-BY-SA-4.0 rather than 3.0. The main change that I can see here is that any breach of license would be given a 30-day grace period to correct the breach before the license would be invalidated (clause 7b1), but there are also other changes such as covering database rights. Are there any arguments against updating the licence here? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 21:36, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

I've no objection to switching to v 4.0 as the default.--MichaelMaggs (talk) 09:07, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
How will that work for content that is current v3.0 licensed? Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 17:34, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
Existing uploaded media content would stay under the existing licence. Not sure how the text should be dealt with. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 15:25, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
It might be worth the board/staff attending the proposed CC-4.0 session at Wikimania to learn more, and ask any questions about how to do this transition. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:21, 4 April 2014 (BST)

Terms of use

The "Terms of use" link in the footer of every page currently links to the Terms of use page on the WMF Foundation Wiki (Foundation:Terms of use). Given that this wiki is now independently hosted, the terms of use should probably be a local page. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 23:08, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

Yes, that's the very next thing on the list of things to be done. Community suggestions for a new set of terms for us to work on would be more than welcome.--MichaelMaggs (talk) 06:42, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Any community thoughts? --MichaelMaggs (talk) 10:00, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, we talked about this at the coventry meetup - I still think the best approach is to start with the WMF's new ToS and then make any changes needed for them to be suitable for use here (which I would hope would be minimal, although you said that more substantial changes are needed). I hope that conversation helped here. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:23, 4 April 2014 (BST)

Education pages

Hi all, I've replaced the old Education projects page link with an Education Portal in the sidebar. The new portal includes all the old info, with some new bits and a bit of reorganisation. This is my first attempt at a portal, so I'm sure there are visual and technical improvements to be made! If anyone fancies doing that, or editing the content, or thinking about creating improved structures anywhere else it'd be appropriate (other projects?), that'd be great. Sjgknight (talk) 12:24, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Loving the portal. That's just what we need.
I notice we have a number of portals now. Is it worth creating a Portal namespace? At the moment, the word portal is just part of the title.
Yaris678 (talk) 13:11, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
I hadn't noticed we didn't have a portal namespace. Is it worth creating one? The way I see it, on Wikipedia it helps differentiate edits in articlespace from others, is it such an important distinction here? A portal is a navigational aid, so I'm not sure we need either the prefix or the namespace in this case. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 13:30, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
I'd say no, as the whole website is essentially a portal for WMUK's work rather than being the meta work around the project's content. Perhaps this new portal could simply be at Education? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:25, 4 April 2014 (BST)
Only just noticed the reply here. I think moving the page to Education makes sense and would make it easier to find for non-Wikipedians. Simon and Toni, do you think it's worth moving the page? Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 11:34, 25 April 2014 (BST)
Ambivalent, certainly don't object to it being moved though as long as all the sub-pages, etc. still work and it isn't just going to take loads of time to manually move lots of pages! Sjgknight (talk) 11:37, 25 April 2014 (BST)
It's easy to make the move, there's an option to move subpages (well 100 at a time). If no one objects by Monday I'll make the change. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:45, 25 April 2014 (BST)

Talking Wikipedia In Ghana

This event is listed to be in 4 days time (28th March) but there are no details of what this is about, and the registration page (BritishBlackMusic.com in assn with BTWSC/Wikimedia UK) is not yet created. This is such short notice would it be better to move it to a later date? -- (talk) 08:05, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

A search on Google reveals that registration is possible at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/talking-wikipedia-in-ghana-tickets-10971368659?aff=es2, which also provides further details. (I have nothing to do with the event, was just interested in if (and what) details were available. TheOverflow (talk) 22:58, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
The advert on the eventbrite page claims to be a Wikimedia UK event, but it is scheduled for a different day. It is reasonable to assume that the lack of any engagement from employees on the Water cooler over several working days, seems to indicate that Wikimedia UK is lending out the name of the charity for events it has no hand in organizing, nor has agreed basic logistics for, such as the date. The are now only 3 days left before the event as per the Wikimedia UK calendar of events. I doubt this is sufficient notice for this to be considered a charity supported event that members and volunteers have been invited to attend.
I hope that no money or staff time from the UK charity is supporting this talk, considering how poorly organized it appears to be.
Could an employee or a Trustee please confirm that is the case, or if not, then how much money is being spent on this? -- (talk) 13:40, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
What's the problem? The eventbrite page only says "with support from Wikimedia UK" and it looks like a basic introduction to Wikipedia event. The calendar on the main page isn't limited to Wikimedia UK run events; it currently includes two independent meet ups and Wikimedia Conference 2014 for example. Perhaps there could have been a link but I don't see that as a critical failure. - AdamBMorgan (talk) 14:50, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
We (WMUK members) have confidence that we understand who is arranging Wikimedia Conference events and the nature of the relationship with Wikimedia UK is a public affair. The eventbrite page linked above was only found by TheOverflow searching on Google, not because Wikimedia UK knew about it or recommends that as a source of agreed information. Members and volunteers neither knowing where or when this event will be is a critical problem for any Wikimedian that would like to actually attend or may want to help. Three days notice is insufficient and (bizarrely) the Wikimedia UK advertized date is different to the eventbrite published date.
When a UK national charity provides support to other organizations, volunteers and members should be free to ask where and when the events are, expect transparency and accountability for support (money, paid employee time?) and a published definition of joint arrangements, even if just a brief statement.
I hope my basic questions above are welcome and fit the Watercooler which is supposed to be a place for questions about events. However I am aware that under the new working practices on the Watercooler my assumption may be wrong.
Every support commitment or partnership Wikimedia UK enters, needs basic understanding of what the support/partnership is, who the relationship is with, and why it fits the mission of the charity. Without a documented understanding between all parties, there is a risk that misunderstanding and confusion may waste our donor's money or lead to damaging the reputation of the charity. -- (talk) 15:06, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Surely there is a proportionality issue here. It's just an introduction/editathon level event. I would expect WMUK to be generally in favour of, and provide at least some support for, any and all such events (and, by extension, would have no reputational risk because of that ubiquity). Unless it is something more significant thatn this, I'd say any "published definition of joint arrangements" would be excessive. - AdamBMorgan (talk) 15:33, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
By that I mean any credible explanation in public. I agree that in this case, something like two clear sentences would be sufficient and proportional.
At the moment members of the charity have no idea if WMUK is footing the bill for any expenses or funding anything else. Employees, trustees have been strangely reticent to clarify anything.
It is the charity's name against an event that is advertized as in 2 days time, but puzzlingly, we are unsure of the date.
Update I note that the Eventbrite page has been updated in the last 24 hours. It appears that Kwaku is delivering this event for Wikimedia UK. It is not clear if this is an edit-a-thon or not. Without a registration page on-wiki we do not know if any trained trainers are going to be available to help. You may recall that to date, Kwaku BBM has made 10 edits to Wikipedia over 10 months, some of which had COI issues. It is an odd situation for Wikimedia UK to be officially supporting. -- (talk) 17:41, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

This event is either tomorrow or on Saturday, depending on which source you check. As a week has passed since I first asked about the basic logistics of this event on the Watercooler, it would be great to have an employee or trustee of the charity confirm the nature of the partnership/association with BBM (British Black Music) and/or BTWSC (Brent Black Music History Project) and whether any of the charity's money is supporting these organizations or this event in expenses or otherwise. If there are reasons for apparent silence in response to questions from the board or employees at this time, it would be good to have this stated. From the Eventbrite information discovered by TheOverflow, it appears this event is in Ghana rather than in the UK (this was not apparent to me, until Kwaku updated the Eventbrite page with more information on Tues/Weds).

It appears that the experienced Wikimedians who are part of the proposed Wikimedia Chapter in Ghana have not been informed about this event, nor asked to help. Their blog is at http://planningwikimediaghana.blogspot.co.uk (the most recent post being on 8 March 2014) and their events page is at meta:Planning Wikimedia Ghana/ Events & Projects. I have approached Sandister Tei as the official community liaison in their organization. -- (talk) 11:05, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

It really doesn't look good, nor inspire confidence, that the office is saying absolutely nothing about this project here. Has this project gone completely off the rails? Or is the office just being secretive for no good reason? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 12:14, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Hi Mike! A volunteer is travelling to Ghana and offered to do a quick 'Introduction to Wikipedia' session while he is there - that's all. I don't want to go into too much detail, because the cost is minimal, it's a tiny event on another continent, and the risk is low - so our time is better spent on things like Wikimania or larger events, where potential mistakes are much more costly. For Ghana, when I checked, we're just paying for refreshments etc for those that arrive there - no flight costs or anything similar. Just sundries (sandwiches etc). It'll be an interesting event from a financial point of view: I'd like to see if we can run events at such a long distance, especially in a country where the financial systems are less stringent than in the UK. If you have any specific questions, feel free to email me with them, and I'll see if I can get some answers. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 13:08, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Hi Richard. Thanks for the response. Can I ask why this didn't go through the grants process then, please? Also, can I ask why the proto-chapter in Ghana that Fæ mentioned above haven't been informed about it? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 13:21, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
I see that the charity ignores legitimate questions on governance from me for 7 days but will provide answers on the same thing for Mike within 45 minutes. The statement given in this thread that this is just a volunteer is confusing, as it does not appear to match the statement given by Jon Davies a week ago "[BritishBlackMusic] are an independent organisation with whom we have worked and hope to continue to work" nor does it match the way the event in Ghana is promoted on Eventbrite.[5][6]
Surely all Wikimedians can see how remarkably strange it is to fund someone with only 10 edits on Wikipedia to run a 3 hour long 'Introduction to Wikipedia' workshop and can be seen promoting their website and consultancy services at the same time? I am amazed that the board of trustees and charity employees appear to believe that either blanket silence or the equivalent of "there is no problem to see here, move along" are acceptable responses to a governance and communications failure. -- (talk) 21:55, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Fæ, your comments about the TtT benefits here are blatantly untrue - the aim of that course is to teach volunteers about how to teach others about contributing to the Wikimedia projects, which (where the trainers are engaged in leading subsequent training events) is well worth that money. I'm sad to see you say that here, where your other points are spot on. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:10, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough, I have removed "main". As one of the original architects of the training concept, I believe a benefit is that the charity has confidence when recommending a certified trained trainer and a key part of all training events I have been involved with has been addressing potentially contentious areas of policy such as COI—even NPOV and CIV can be difficult for newer contributors. These may not be why the course was designed, but it is an expected outcome. I am slightly puzzled, you may be reading my words here differently to my intention, I have not said that TtT was not good value for what it delivers, I was only contrasting the Ghana workshop to events that are supported by trained trainers. -- (talk) 22:38, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
The emphasis in your comment on 'the UK charity invests £800 a head to send active volunteers on a train the trainers course', along with your comment about your expected aims for the project, seemed to imply the lack of value. My memory was that Martin was the key architect behind this concept.... Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:47, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Suppressed the tangent. How quickly we are forgotten. :-) The concept of tiered training was started from my management experience of techniques for cooperatively sharing knowledge of factory floor staff, Martin and I drew it up during a board meeting. -- (talk) 22:54, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Feedback from Ghana

After making a note on-wiki, a representative of the Ghana 'proto-chapter' has promptly made contact with me by email, which I hope will make for a useful independent view of Wikimedia UK's approach to their association with BBM and the grant provided. This email (25 March) was pointed out, which confirms that none of the Wikimedians there was approached ("we were not directly informed or contacted") and there is mention of them partnering with the organizers. This seems a natural response, but considering that Wikimedia UK is supporting BritishBlackMusic.com, they may have unfortunately interpreted that as an official Wikimedia endorsement. -- (talk) 16:48, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

I have updated the local wikimedia-gh email list where an earlier public email of mine had been reposted. The thread and some initial feedback from the local community can be found at [Wikimedia-GH] Wikimedia in Ghana. -- (talk) 21:13, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your work on this, Fæ. As anyone interested can see, I tried a while ago to involve Nyarko Rexford Nkansah in the 2012 Black History Month editathon. His response is here. Following up your links, I noticed that Rexford has proposed a submission for Wikimania. I do hope he receives a scholarship to attend. It is also worth checking this For Rexford Nkansah, Wikipedia represents the future of education for his country. Leutha (talk) 12:06, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks back Leutha, I appreciate the thought, along with the personal emails of thanks to me from the Ghana community.
Most disappointing in this story is that the UK Chapter was alerted to the issue more than a week ago and much positive work could have been done in that time with the local Ghana community to build bridges or for one of the ten full time employees to check the background of BlackBritishMusic.com rather than relying on unpaid volunteers to do it. -- (talk) 14:00, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Moving this thread

This thread was moved by an employee from the Watercooler to the Engine room on 3rd April. As it is about a specific event, which is the new definition of the Watercooler, could it please be moved back? I do not want to do this myself as doubtless it would be treated as abuse of some sort for me to take bold action as a volunteer. -- (talk) 12:42, 3 April 2014 (BST)

Given the event has happened, and the current thread is not directly about that event, it seems to me the move is entirely appropriate. I don't really think there's much more to say here either. Sjgknight (talk) 12:46, 3 April 2014 (BST)
(ec) That employee of Wikimedia UK is myself. Considering you, Fae, described this as a governance issue it belongs here. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 12:48, 3 April 2014 (BST)
Fair enough. I look forward to the next britishblackmusic.com event, I may try to make it myself. -- (talk) 12:59, 3 April 2014 (BST)

Response to the threads

I have moved this to the Engine Room as it is an internal matter.

The event in Ghana is supported by WMUK but not organised by us. There is an interesting discussion to be had here about how we indicate our level of involvement in ANY event. This is especially relevant to our collection of data. To quote an extreme example, if we sent someone to the Cup Final could we claim it to be ours and indicate 90,000 people attended one of our events? Obviously not but there are nuances here where an event becomes supported by us to such an extent that it would count. So to take a real recent example. Some volunteers set up an event without any WMUK input. Fine. That is the sort of thing we want. Let a thousand flowers bloom - let a thousand editors get together and contribute. The whole basis of the movement's success. But they then approach the office for help. We set up a page advertising the event. Has it become ours yet? We send them cheat sheets and some pens. Is it ours yet? We send Train the Trainers people to help. Is it ours yet? We pay for the sandwiches? Is it ours yet? I don't want to get boring but there are a spectrum of possibilities here and we need to think about how we describe events we are publicising through the spectrum of 'nothing to do with us but good to know about' through 'supported' to 'Co-organised with' to 'Organised by'. I think it would be helpful to define these levels and make it clear to the community and outside organisations what they can expect from us at each level. Thoughts please.

The Ghana event was definitely 'supported by' in that we donated some literature, a few t-shirts etc for those who attend and up to £200 from our Extending reach budget as this fits in closely with our strategic plans principally:

G5 Develop, support, and engage with other Wikimedia and Open Knowledge communities

This Goal relates to our support for communities other than our own community of WMUK volunteers (for which, see 2.1 above). Some of these other communities are outside the UK - such as other Wikimedia chapters and organisations - while others are UK-based but separate from WMUK (some local Wikimeets, special interest, language-based and ad hoc groupings). Some communities are Wikimedia project-based (Wikipedia WikiProjects, Commons photographic competitions). Finally, we want to engage with non-Wikimedia Open Knowledge groups whose missions are aligned with our own.

  • We will work with other Wikimedia communities and organisations in an open way to facilitate shared learning across the entire movement. We will encourage and provide support to other Wikimedia communities to help them develop, diversify and thrive. We will play a leading role in sharing good practice and acting as a focus for debate. We will work with non-Wikimedia Open Knowledge groups to further our Open Knowledge vision.
  • G5.1 A thriving set of other Wikimedia communities
  • G5.2 An increased diversity of Wikimedia contributors
  • G5.3 Wikimedia communities are skilled and capable.
  • G5.4 Open Knowledge communities with missions similar to our own are thriving.

It also relates to their goals as well.

We felt that the Ghana event was worth the small amount of cost involved. WMUK has always been willing to experiment and indeed has known success and failure but this is a modest amount of funding and very little staff resource even including writing this.

We know the organiser well. He worked with us on an editathon last year, was a diligent delegate to the Wikimedia Diversity Conference and has remained in touch with us ever since. And he knows that any funding will be entirely dependent on the receipt of evidence of spend acceptable to our auditors.

It is highly relevant to note that he represents a group highly under-represented in our community, i.e. Black British, a group we really need to engage with if Wikimedia projects are to truly represent their users.

We have often supported people without knowing much about them and this is as it should be. The important factor is to balance the risks. You would not give £1000 up front to someone you had never heard of but you might purchase a significant piece of equipment on loan to someone well known to the community. We need to encourage new volunteers and we cannot set thresholds that will deter. We do not have a policy of restricting funding to those with n,000 + edits and quite rightly so. That way lies atrophy. Some really good impact has come from people whose only qualification was a good idea and £5 membership of WMUK.

Although we made contact with at least one Ghanaian Wikimedian I accept that we did not handle this well. We should have contacted their chapter as soon as we were approached. I have since contacted them. Happily they seem to have assumed good faith which I wish we all did a little more. A good lesson to learn and the first time we have made such a mistake, I put this down to the speed it all happened and the general pressure on staff to do everything at once!

As to the lack of response from the office. I was away and would have picked this up quicker if I had been here and Richard S made a brave attempt to plug the gap. We are not an inexhaustible resource. I did talk to the volunteer about the questions being asked before I went on holiday and he asked me to share his email with the questioner as he was happy to answer questions directly. I did this although I am not sure this offer was taken up.

This did not go through the grants process as it was not a grant. It fits squarely in our programme as detailed above.

To say it again this was funding through an individual volunteer not any organisation.

I don't think it is 'strange' that we asked this volunteer to do this. He was wiling to take kilos of WMUK literature etc in his luggage and support local Wikimedians and would-be Wikimedians. There was no way we could justify sending a couple of trainers there so this seemed good value and completely in line with what we should be doing.

There was a discussion about Train the Trainers which I don't understand but if somebody wants to explain I will reply.

So some mistakes but also effective outreach, good faith and hopefully good links with Ghana in the future.

The dates issue is perplexing but these things happen. Apologies to anyone who was inconvenienced.

Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 12:47, 3 April 2014 (BST)

Jon, you have explained something about what happened and made an apology, thanks for doing that now. It is refreshing to feel that my questions are not just being indefinitely blanked or dismissed. With regard to your indirect comment about me contacting Kwaku, I am waiting on information from the Heritage Lottery Fund, as I explained to you by email. If you need me to release my email of 2 weeks ago, I shall do so. Until I have that information I cannot review it with Kwaku nor compare the statements on his website and promotional material against it. As an unpaid volunteer, I hope you understand that handling the bureaucracy of checking Wikimedia UK partnerships or associations on behalf of the charity is not going to be my top priority, particularly when I am never going to be thanked or recognized for doing it.
As the CEO, can you identify and recommend any (SMART) learning points for the organization, and do you intend to propose how Wikimedia UK operations should improve the management of partnerships or non-UK funded/expenses paid events and their promotion as a result of the mistakes you have highlighted above? -- (talk) 13:34, 3 April 2014 (BST)

A full set of metrics covering all we do has been constructed that we will report on quarterly to the board and FDC. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:37, 3 April 2014 (BST)

Sorry, there may be a format problem. Is this your answer to my question about what has been learned from this incident and what you will now change? -- (talk) 13:40, 3 April 2014 (BST)
Incident? Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 15:06, 3 April 2014 (BST)
The one above. Perhaps someone else might help explain why corrective action and planned improvement might be a good idea in addition to your apology for what happened, especially when another organization, based on your statement, has published false advertising of partnership with the charity. From past experience, trying to put my point of view is likely to be interpreted as bad faith.[7] -- (talk) 15:41, 3 April 2014 (BST)
Fae, please bear in mind that staff are now working to meet strategic SMART charitable targets, which did not exist in your day as a trustee. As a consequence they need to balance the amount of time they spend setting up ad hoc governance mechanisms, structures, targets, actions and improvements that you as a volunteer would personally like them to implement with the things they are actually being paid to do, which is to forward the objects of the charity and to meet their published targets. It's well known that you ran things differently in your day, but back then the board had approved no formal high-level strategy for the staff to work to. It is no longer acceptable (if indeed it ever was) to treat staff time as a free resource available to be used at the discretion of one individual; nor to expect them to spend hours, days or longer responding to demands that they do ever more complex and time-consuming things for you.
You might personally think more of the charity if the staff jumped every time you asked for something, and did it for you immediately, but that would amount to you as a single volunteer taking over the governance of the charity from the board and the wider community, which would be an approach my fellow trustees might have some views on. Our best attempts to follow our charitable mission may never satisfy you, but that mission takes precedence over the wishes of any one individual. There has to come a point at which the asking of critical questions (which are helpful) becomes a personal campaign (which is not). You have passed that point I am afraid, and I regret that your often helpful underlying points have become increasingly obscured by your tone. Your points would be more effectively heard by the charity and by the community if you made them, made neutral suggestions for improvements, then moved on to whatever you feel would next most benefit from your time.
No doubt you will frame this response in itself as the charity 'losing contact with its volunteers', but it is evident that whatever Jon says (and I mean absolutely whatever) you will always come back and ask for more. And then more. Going on and on is simply not fair to the staff and is not constructive. The time they spend dealing with you - not the underlying points you raise, but you personally - is time lost forever in trying to advance the charity's mission, making it more difficult for them to meet the targets against which they are publicly going to be judged. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:14, 3 April 2014 (BST)
I did not realise you might personally believe this was all about me, or support Jon's claims over the last two years that I am ordering employees of the charity to do things, I did not realize that the board thought I had so much personal charisma, or that my opinions mattered.
I have carefully read Jon's statement in which he apologises for some things and defends others. What it lacks is any commitment by the charity to learn from what went wrong, for example to ensure that partnering organizations do not use the Wikimedia brand and logos to promote their commercial business without agreeing the advertisements with the charity.
Using organizational problems and issues to generate corrective and preventative action has been fundamental management theory and practice for the last century, dating before even Juran was first writing about it. You are the Chairman, I am sure you understand the underlying issues here for the charity and the risk it represents, it is up to you and your fellow trustees to decide if you are happy with that remaining unresolved, and the members of the charity left in doubt as to whether we are moving forward, and due to failures like this, whether the charity is becoming more wise and efficient in how it uses the donor's money and the goodwill of our small number of active volunteers
To put this another way, in the form of the new strategy that you mention:
  • This incident publicly damaged our international reputation, clearly failing to deliver the aim of G5/G5.1.
  • Though notified well in advance, there was a lack of corrective action before the event, in particular the Eventbrite adverts including the Wikimedia UK logo with a claim of association with BritishBlackMusic.com was not removed. This fails G2b.1 and the lack of response fails to meet G2b.2.
  • Failing to look for alternatives for BEM representation by either seeking partnerships with (for example) UK registered national charities with an established BEM footprint, or to approach BEM Wikimedians with strong Wikimedia project skills to support this event failed to meet G2a, G2b and G5.
For these reasons I hope there is a public report as part of the next board meeting, with measured improvements that ensure similar less than satisfactory communication and management around partnership claims or event logistics cannot happen again. -- (talk) 18:34, 3 April 2014 (BST)
Just to point out: although I agree that "ad hoc governance mechanisms, structures, targets, actions and improvements" shouldn't come from individual volunteers, staff should (and do) action themselves and make improvements to what they do based on incidents like this, and the board should (and I think does) identify governance mechanisms, structures and targets that should be implemented or revised based on such incidents. There should always be lessons learnt from this sort of thing, and mistakes identified to be avoided in the future. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:45, 4 April 2014 (BST)
Hi Jon - thanks for the thorough response. Sounds like a worthwhile event. I agree it's probably worth being fairly careful to ensure we engage other chapters/nascent chapters if our activity overlaps with theirs (even if a small activity). I remember being irked myself when others haven't consulted us in the past. Regards, The Land (talk) 17:58, 4 April 2014 (BST)
Thanks also for me for the detailed response. It would be great to see this happen more often and earlier on in the discussions please. I would point out that you're being very contradictory when you say "The Ghana event was definitely 'supported by' in that we donated some literature, a few t-shirts etc for those who attend and up to £200 from our Extending reach budget as this fits in closely with our strategic plans" but then also say "This did not go through the grants process as it was not a grant. It fits squarely in our programme as detailed above." - I'd suggest that grants provide one way to separate between WMUK events and WMUK supported events. In this case, you were essentially giving a grant of money and merchandise to support an event, so it really would have seemed to me to be an obvious case for a grant. (I really hope that grants aren't only for work not set out in WMUK's overall programme!) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:36, 4 April 2014 (BST)

A little more feedback from the weekend. We seem to have made friends with the Ghana chapter with a lot of positive emails and talk of future cooperation. At least one person aims to be at Wikimania. I am really hopeful that we can build a long standing relationship with them. Mike there are lots of grey areas where sometimes something should be a grant and sometimes a more direct approach works better. In this case time was a factor and so we chose this route. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 09:51, 7 April 2014 (BST)

Well, if you err on the side of doing something as a grant, with the transparency and oversight on this wiki that that entails, then I suspect you wouldn't end up in hot water like you did here. But as I doubt me commenting in this thread will change anything, I won't bother doing so further. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 18:32, 7 April 2014 (BST)

Attendees at the Wikimedia Conference 2014?

Hi all. I'm rather puzzled by the list of WMUK attendees at the Wikimedia Conference this year, since it seems to imply that WMUK is sending 8 people to the conference. What's going on here? Why is WMUK apparently sending 4 trustees, 3 staff and one unknown ('Katherine Ruth'?) to a conference that every other chapter is restricted to sending 2 board members and, optionally, one staff member to? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 21:59, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Hi Mike - this question might have to wait until Jon is back in the office for an answer. Are you happy to wait until Monday/Tuesday for one? Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 11:55, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. Is there a choice with waiting? ;-) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 12:11, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your question Mike and apologies for the delay in reply but even I get holidays sometime! This was a question I asked myself a few months back when trying to work out who should go. You may have noticed last year at Milan that the 'two per chapter' rule was not being adhered to. I had been led to believe it would be and was disappointed not to have been able to send more WMUK people as it is such a useful forum. I checked with the German chapter on or about February 4th and the line I was given was that it is no longer the Chapters Conference as was and is now the Wikimedia Conference and that the 1+1 rule no longer applied. I can see 12 chapters who go beyond the 1+1 rule.

In our case, in addition to myself and the chair, we have three people speaking. This is also a great opportunity for newer trustees to meet the wider community as part of their induction process at a reasonable cost. I hope that helps Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 07:23, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

The 'two per chapter' rule was what applies to board members; it's turned more into a 2+1 rule where there's two board members and one staff member (normally the CE). Out of curiosity, what exactly did WMDE/the organisers of the conference say here? It's one thing to bend the rules a bit and bring an extra person, but to bring 8 people really looks very odd and could well damage the chapter's standing in the eyes of the other chapters (particularly those that struggle to send any representatives to the conference whatsoever!). Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 14:34, 31 March 2014 (BST)
+1 -- (talk) 17:14, 31 March 2014 (BST)
The registration details are here: [8] I don't recall anyone suggesting the registration process was wrong while it was actually open. 23:37, 1 April 2014 (BST) —Preceding unsigned comment added by The Land (talkcontribs)

Hi Mike, I recall this agreement, back in the time when the Chapter used to pay to send me to these meetings, as many chapters were concerned about the best use of Wikimedia movement's funds and many smaller chapters were concerned that the chapters with the largest amount of money to spend were overwhelming the conference. The general thinking was that any chapter can easily be represented by two people regardless of how large they are in terms of membership or money and if people are keen to have internal meetings then video conferencing is an alternative that costs the movement nothing. Do you have a link to where this was most recently stated?

Has anyone worked out who Katherine Ruth is and why she is representing the UK Chapter internationally? -- (talk) 09:11, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Have asked the organiser who KR may be.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:52, 31 March 2014 (BST)
Thank you. Mike Peel (talk) 19:26, 31 March 2014 (BST)
Now have an answer - Katherine Ruth is actually trustee Kate West - they used her middle name in error. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 08:27, 2 April 2014 (BST)
Ah, OK, I thought it might be something like that. :-) This does worry me a bit, though, in that it implies that you weren't aware of Kate West registering to attend the event before this... Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:46, 4 April 2014 (BST)

For the record we have people going for four reasons:

  • CEO and Chair as standard
  • Two staff and one (sorry two) trustee(s) who are invited to do presentations.
  • Two trustees (we are guessing KR might actually be Kate West) who will be using this as part of their induction as trustees - a great chance to meet other people and learn about the community.
  • Everyone can promote Wikimania London and learn about people's ideas and expectations.

I think this is a sensible use of our resources, flights to Berlin are cheaper than many train journeys to UK cities, for our learning and helps share our knowledge and understanding with other chapters. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 16:16, 31 March 2014 (BST)

From my experience of these meetings (having attended three of them in the past), I'd say this is overkill - the number of people you're sending means that there will be multiple people from WMUK in each of the sessions, which dilutes the benefit of having people at the meeting (and reporting back from it). I'd ask for a citation on your cost point - how much are the flights, and can you give an example of a train ticket within the UK that costs more? (assuming off-peak for both of course). But I guess this is all a moot point now, though, given that everything will have been booked and paid for already... So please do assess the cost-benefit ratio here, and learn from that for next year. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:25, 31 March 2014 (BST)
When I was looking at flights, the cheapest option was £69 return (ok, plus probably £30 to get to and from the airport, and these aren't the flights I actually booked as I needed to fit around my work schedule!). That's less than I would normally pay to get to Edinburgh and back, and far less than it ended up costing to get me to Monmouth.
I am not sure that having more than one person from WMUK in a meeting makes it less effective, though.
Finally - after the Wikimedia Conference, virtually the whole Board will one way or another have spent a couple of days getting to know international Wikimedians and making connections (some at last year's Wikimania, some at the governance workshop the other weekend, some at this Wikimedia Conference). That is very useful experience which I think previous Boards could have done with more of, and something to be proud of given how new our current Board is.The Land (talk) 18:21, 1 April 2014 (BST)
Hi Chris. Thanks for responding to my points.
On flight costs - that's interesting. My flights (which I think were the cheapest option I could find, albeit from Manchester) are something like 3x that. But anyway.
I never said 'less effective', I said 'dilutes the benefit'. If you're using the meeting appropriately, i.e. the people going know the background of the discussions and WMUK's perspective/key learnings, and report back to WMUK on everyone else's perspective and key learnings, then ideally one person per meeting session works well - by having more than that you double the cost but don't double the benefits (yes, you do get more diverse opinions being put forward, but I'm sure there will be plenty of those to go around anyway. ;-) )
Yes, getting to know international Wikimedians is very important and well worth doing. But there's Wikimania in London later this year, which presumably most of the board will be going to as it's very local for them. I don't get why you're sending people to Berlin instead of waiting a few months and going for that much cheaper option! Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 10:06, 2 April 2014 (BST)
I'll just point out that "chapter bigwig" and "Wikimedian" are not necessarily one and the same. Sure, it's important to meet people from other chapters to share experiences, best practice, discuss common issues, etc, but the moving and shaking of the movement's politicians is an entirely parallel and irrelevant process to the rank-and-file editor, without whom there would be no movement, no WMUK, no bigwigs from other chapters, no WMF... And yet when was the last time you saw a group of eight staff and trustees (or even one!) at any event for the average Wikipedian? That tells you a lot about the current direction of WMUK. Harry Mitchell (talk) 17:33, 3 April 2014 (BST)

I have had some private emails from old friends who are current chapter board members that thanked me for raising the issue, and have been surprised that the previous "gentlemen's agreement" of sending modest numbers ("2+1") has been so easily forgotten and dismissed as inconvenient. The current trustees of Wikimedia UK may be missing the point of how this appears to other chapters, some struggling to manage their plans with far more modest budgets and with either none, or far fewer employees than this chapter has in proportion to the number of members it represents. There is no dispute with the fact that as a trustee or employee, going to this conference is enjoyable and an excellent social networking opportunity; however that WMUK has chosen to send significantly greater numbers to this conference than any other chapter, will not reflect well in the eyes of many of our international colleagues.

As has been kindly pointed out, there are people who believe I should remain dead and buried with past achievements or failures forgotten. This is a choice to be made by the living, you hold the goodwill of the charity, it's up to you to ensure you understand and embody the values of the community most of you have been recently elected to represent. One day you must join me in the necropolis, it should provide an interesting perspective. -- (talk) 23:00, 1 April 2014 (BST)

Response to the threads

In this discussion one aspect has been forgotten or overlooked. i.e. what are we giving back to the conference? As the second biggest chapter we risk accusations of trying to dominate the smaller chapters. I am certain we will not be doing that but the quite the opposite we will be sharing our experience and learning. Four of those attending are making presentations on what we have done. This will be of serious assistance to other chapters and organisations, especially the newer ones. After all we went through in the last two years I think we really owe it to the movement to explain how we developed. So the sessions on good governance, and monitoring and evaluation will be a crucial part of the conference. One member of staff will be talking about our cross-European advocacy work. I remember sitting in a basement room in Milan last year where a few of us realised the potential benefits of working together on EU matters. I am pleased that we have been a leading chapter in bringing this agenda so far and will be bringing the first results to Berlin. Of course we could do this by Skype but I believe the fairly modest cost of getting to Berlin justifies all the benefits of having the face to face contact, especially for those for whom English is not their first language.

In addition two of our new trustees will be there which I see as part of their proper trustee induction. They have been elected for two years bringing significant skills we needed, and this is a great chance for them to learn more about the movement. I don't think this would be as possible at Wikimania which is so much bigger and this is a great chance to make friendships that can be renewed in the summer at the Barbican.

To some extent the venue of such events is irrelevant, it is what is achieved that is important. Some of those going will add days on to other end of the conference to see Berlin and that is up to them and their purses. For the days of the conference we will be in meeting rooms that could be anywhere in the world. Berlin is a fairly cheap place to get to and accommodation not nearly as pricey as London. So all in all I think this is a valid use of our funds that will benefit our chapter but more importantly the wider movement. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 12:58, 4 April 2014 (BST)

Hi Jon. Thanks for your response. :-) I hadn't overlooked that aspect, though. WMUK certainly has many things that it can give back to the conference, and share with the other chapters. That can, however, be done by suitably briefing the representatives and asking them to give the presentations. In some cases that's not possible (in particular with advocacy work, where the discussion is more about 'why' than the facts or sharing information), but I can't believe it's the case for all of the presentations that are being given (in particular, I'd hope that all board members would feel able to present on good governance/monitoring/evalutation!). I disagree with your assertion about trustee induction and Wikimania - can you explain why you made that assertion? I'd agree with your following (contradictory) point that the venue is irrelevant, which implies that this could have been done effectively in London. I'd disagree with your point about cost, though, since every single WMUK board and staff member is now located either in London or within easy commuting distance, making accommodation costs irrelevant. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:55, 4 April 2014 (BST)

To be honest Mike I don't think any of the three areas we are addressing open themselves to a 'briefing'. The work around governance, planning and metrics is highly complicated and nuanced and will inevitably create more questions than answers. Having experts there to lead the discussions will be extremely valuable. The WMUK session in Milan last year on governance demonstrated the demand for discussion The Advocacy work will entail a lot of debate as you say.

I firmly believe (from having witnessed trustee interaction with the community in Wikimania Washington, Wikimania Hong Kong and the last two Chapter's Conferences) that in-person attendance pays real dividends for the trustees themselves and hence our chapter, helps build understanding between the chapters and gives us the chance to feedback mire intensely what we are doing.

It may be that Berlin is exceptional given our desire to bring new trustees into the loop and lay the ground for the Chapter's involvement in Wikimania 14. Perhaps we won't need to send so many people next time. In any case this s a trustee decision . I can only answer for myself and my two colleagues who are going. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 10:12, 7 April 2014 (BST)

P.S. I hope it will be an good event but let's not forget that the trustees are volunteers giving up their own time to be in quite intensive meetings for four days. I thank them.

P.P.S Not all the trustees and staff are in easy commuting distance of London. Yorkshire, and Wales are significant distances and even if HS4 is ever built Edinburgh is a significant distance away.

OK, so we disagree then - perhaps that part of things is best left as it is. This is the first time I've seen you say that it was a trustee decision - is there a link available to that decision, please? On trustee locations, I'd forgotten Seddon (sorry!), but who on the board or on the staff is based in Yorkshire or Edinburgh? Perhaps trustee locations can be added to the Board page? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 18:38, 7 April 2014 (BST)
Padmini lives in Edinburgh, Toni in Scarborough.

For those interested in what went on over the long weekend in Berlin our report is now up on the wiki. I firmly believe it was good value for money. And if anyone is interested only one per diem was claimed to my knowledge and my expenses, as an example, were £131 for the return flight and the hotel was £240 for four nights.


Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 09:49, 16 April 2014 (BST)

Thanks for including some of the costs of sending 8 people to this conference, helpful. It would be more meaningful if the total cost could be published. As far as I am aware, this is not a confidential matter that needs to by-pass our commitment to transparency of expenses.
With regard to CEO expenses, I note that Expenses 2013-2014 has not been updated since October 2013, making it now six months out of date. As has been discussed previously on the Water cooler, this report is explicitly required of the Finance Policy and a matter that the board of trustees should be regularly monitoring as part of our commitment to transparency. It seems reasonable for the board to assess that not successfully meeting the requirements of the Finance Policy as not meeting the Strategy monitoring plan (G2b.2 / G2b.3) when this gets reported by the board.
Thanks again for sharing your expenses promptly on this noticeboard. I look forward to seeing both your expenses and the expenses of all current trustees reported in compliance with the Finance Policy. -- (talk) 15:47, 16 April 2014 (BST)
Just to comment: those sorts of pages should really include both expenses claimed and those paid directly by the chapter (e.g. flights). And thanks Richard for working on them. :-) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 09:07, 17 April 2014 (BST)
If we're talking about trustees, then yes, it should. This should probably relate to the Chief Executive too (although the increased activity and the fact that the CE is paid a salary means that the rules may be different, I'm not sure). The SORP, at https://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/media/90634/sorp05textcolour.pdf reads with regard to trustees that (paras 231-233): "the aggregate amount of those expenses should be disclosed in a note to the accounts. The note should also indicate the nature of the expenses (eg travel, subsistence, entertainment etc) and the number of trustees involved...".
However, the Charity Commission recommends that we have "a written agreement setting out what is classed as an expense". This is something we're currently lacking, and is something that I believe the Board will be discussing in the future.
For the avoidance of doubt, not all of Jon's expenses for the recent trip are on there, but they do conform to what I've seen so far. As soon as I have Jon's expenses approved (obviously they have to be signed and approved), I'll get them up on the page. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 13:00, 17 April 2014 (BST)
OK, thanks Richard. :-) I'd be happy to contribute to the definition here, if that would be useful - I think my meta page list of compensation represents best practice here. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 18:51, 17 April 2014 (BST)
Hi Mike - comments to Michael Maggs I think! It will be the board's decision as to what is classed as an expense. Your list is very good in terms of absolute transparency, but it doesn't draw distinctions between 'expenses' and 'reimbursements'. Reimbursement of trustees for purchases they have personally and properly made on behalf of the charity (such as, for example, Michael Maggs paying for office printer paper on his personal credit card) are not counted as expenses and are accounted for as part of the charity's general expenditure instead. Thus, your list lists some thing which are not (for the purposes of UK law) trustee expenses. There are other rules surrounding expenses which I would need to get advice on before going into further... but I will definitely bring your document to the attention of the board. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 10:50, 25 April 2014 (BST)
That's true, but hopefully the days when trustees need to pay for purchases on behalf of the charity like printer paper are in the past now! Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 20:27, 28 April 2014 (BST)

When the total costs are published, could someone add a link here so that future volunteers can find it more easily? Thanks -- (talk) 10:43, 24 April 2014 (BST)

Of course Fae. For your information, it should be done by 22nd of next month. I will endeavour to post an announcement here when the time comes. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 10:50, 25 April 2014 (BST)
I am really pleased to report that all the reports from the Berlin conference attendees from WMUK are now up on the wiki. Together they make a very interesting read and I thank people for the time they took sharing their experiences. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:02, 1 May 2014 (BST)


I see over 20 spam accounts being created in an hour (this morning) and then the majority creating spam pages with advert links. This level of spam is well beyond the capacity of the small number of active volunteer admins to manage. Is there a plan to quench these? -- (talk) 09:19, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Hey Fae, The tech committee are aware of it becoming an increasing problem. I know that recently a number of static ip's were blocked last week based on the foundations blacklist. I believe the next step will be to implement a number of range blocks to supplement this. We will probably want to employ some bots to do some recent change patrol. I would like to avoid raising the bar to people being able to contribute to the wiki. However a sensible way forward may be to require a captcha for those posting links. There are a number of ways forward. Ill ensure its raised at tomorrows tech committee meeting. Leave any suggestions you might have here. Some, all or non might be taken on board but at least they will have been raised and can be considered along with any ideas the committee discusses :) Seddon (talk) 18:11, 31 March 2014 (BST)
Using the standard blocklist and inheriting rangeblocks from other Wikimedia projects (en.wp and/or Commons) would make sense. Separately maintaining large lists for a small wiki would probably eat up a lot of volunteer time without much benefit. I would avoid CAPTCHA unless this were the only effective solution, though considering how few IPs make a long term positive contribution on this wiki that includes new page creation (none?), I doubt this would be any more than a hypothetical issue. -- (talk) 18:45, 31 March 2014 (BST)
If you can, Fæ, then please consider coming along to the meeting - details here. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:20, 31 March 2014 (BST)
Harry Burt has been working on this for a while, and is implementing a script to import the WMF range blocks, with approval from the Tech Committee. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 19:11, 1 April 2014 (BST)
The root of the problem sees to have been the 'migrating' of this wiki outside the Wikimedia family, with which we seem to have lost just about everything that was useful about having a wiki. Harry Mitchell (talk) 17:13, 3 April 2014 (BST)
Harry, that's harsh! This is still a perfectly well functioning wiki - yes, blocking is now an issue, but what else of the useful functions of a wiki has been lost as a result of the migration? Perhaps this should be viewed as an interesting learning exercise about MediaWiki - this is a problem that any other user of MediaWiki will experience, so what is the best way of solving it, and can that solution be shared back with the mediawiki community to help others? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:59, 4 April 2014 (BST)

Mini pop up banners

Banner seen in action at the Coventry 9 Wikimeet

In response to prospective attendees finding it difficult to find meet-ups (going into a pub alone looking for strangers for instance can be quite challenging), we have acquired some mini-banners for people to use at meet-ups. They are quite discreet but we hope will help. Further design more specifically for Wales & Scotland are pending. Opinions please and if you would like one for your meet-ups contact me. Regards -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 10:51, 2 April 2014 (BST)

I like these. I think they're a great idea. They'd be even better if we had some with the Wikipedia logo on them rather than just WMUK's; the former, obviously, is a lot more recognisable. Harry Mitchell (talk) 17:09, 3 April 2014 (BST)
Hi Harry, thank you very much for your feedback. I'm pleased you like the banners and agree with your comments. We would like to be able to use the Wikipedia globe mark, particularly juxtaposed with the Wikimedia UK logo, but we are currently having a pause on producing new materials with the globe while our trademark agreement with the Wikimedia Foundation is finalised and put in place. An updated draft of the agreement is with the Foundation and I'm hopeful this will be signed, sealed and delivered within the next week or two at most. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 17:25, 3 April 2014 (BST)
Hi Stevie, I gathered that that was the reason from Michael at the Coventry meetup, but I saw no harm in mentioning it again for when the trademark agreement is sorted. Do let us know how you get on with that. Best, Harry Mitchell (talk) 00:53, 4 April 2014 (BST)
I've now received one of these, and they are very nice. :-) Thanks to the office for ordering these. Would it be worth setting up a page that keeps track of where all of these are, so that anyone that is organising a meetup/event but doesn't have one can check to see if one of the attendees will be bringing one or can ask a nearby holder to either attend the event or pass them on to someone that will? I've also asked the office if they would be willing to make cheap mobile phones available to meetup organisers, so that (non-personal) contact phone numbers can be made available on the public meetup pages. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 20:05, 4 April 2014 (BST)

Affiliate-selected seats on the board of the Wikimedia Foundation

In alternate years, Wikimedia chapters and thematic organizations select two members for the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. The candidates for 2014 can be seen here, and questions for individual candidates can be asked by following the links from that page. Organizations including Wikimedia UK have until 15 April to submit any formal pre-voting endorsements. No candidate has, so far as I know, asked us for an endorsement and unless there is a significant groundswell of WMUK community support for any particular candidate, we do not intend to endorse any individual before the opening of the ballot. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 19:33, 3 April 2014 (BST)

I don't know how these things work, but it looks like other chapters may have had a more active role in this than just posting a message on their local wiki. Obviously it is a bit late for 2014, but for 2016 do we want to come to some sort of collective decision in advance and actually put one or two candidates forward. Or is that sort of thing just counter-productive?
Yaris678 (talk) 22:48, 7 April 2014 (BST)
Probably just a practical issue this time in that Chris Keating is one of the volunteer organisers of the election, and as a result great care has been taken to ensure that the chapter and its trustees have no conflict of interest. There is no reason in principle why we could not endorse a candidate in advance next time if a suitable one steps forward that our community could get behind. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 23:30, 7 April 2014 (BST)

Trademark Agreement between Wikimedia UK and Wikimedia Foundation, Inc

Hello everyone. I am very happy to report that there now exists a Trademark Agreement between Wikimedia UK and Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. This agreement sets out how Wikimedia UK may make use of the Wikimedia project logos, such as the Wikipedia globe icon. The agreement can be seen here. Thank you to the people in the trademarks team at Wikimedia Foundation for their help in making this happen. Thank you also to Jon Davies and Michael Maggs for their input. If you have any questions about the agreement please do get in touch. Thank you. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 16:31, 8 April 2014 (BST)

Thanks for your work on this, Stevie. Is there any chance somebody could produce a short, plain English summary? The legalese is obviously necessary for the avoidance of ambiguity, but it would be great to have a plain English summary that people could refer to if they ever wonder whether an idea or proposal would be acceptable under the agreement.

On a tangent, does this mean we can get some more merchandise in with the Wikipedia logo on it? :) Thanks, Harry Mitchell (talk) 16:54, 8 April 2014 (BST)

Without this wanting to sound like a legal view (!) I would suggest the best bet for a potted summary is on page 5 of the agreement. This sets out some of the uses covered by the agreement. In terms of more merchandise with the Wikipedia globe icon - what would you like? I'm always willing to listen to ideas! Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 16:56, 8 April 2014 (BST)
Addendum - in publications, and other places where practical, we still need to include an attribution that the globe icon (and other Wikimedia project marks) are the trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 16:58, 8 April 2014 (BST)
Well done - it's good to see that this is sorted. :-) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 17:18, 8 April 2014 (BST)


I don't think we have ever had the summary demographic data from the survey. Can we have that added to the other results please? Philafrenzy (talk) 21:10, 10 April 2014 (BST)

To give a smattering more context, Philafrenzy is I believe referring to the 2013 members' survey. The main report from which was posted at File:Membership 2013 Full Survey Report.pdf. Katherine is most likely to be the person who can provide the summary of demographic data. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 00:01, 12 April 2014 (BST)

It must be almost six months since the survey and I assume that the data has been looked at by now in the office so can the members also have access to the anonymised summary data please? Philafrenzy (talk) 14:47, 14 April 2014 (BST)

Unfortunately the timely publication of reports appears to be a hole in Strategy monitoring plan, even if the board has got used to always setting SMART targets (T = time limited or timely). If an expected publication of operational reports are delayed, perhaps so long that their use for improvement is lost, it appears that this does not affect the agreed performance indicators for the charity. -- (talk) 15:55, 14 April 2014 (BST)
The office should have deleted the raw data by now, as per the statement at WMUK membership survey 2013/Survey draft ("When the meta report about the results has been produced and any responses that can be followed up stored on your member contact record, all individual responses will be deleted. This will be within 60 days of the survey closing.") ... Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 20:35, 14 April 2014 (BST)
Not asking for the raw data Mike, which as you say is confidential, just the summary demographic results so that we can add those to the other results. Perfectly normal to keep and reveal those I think. Philafrenzy (talk) 21:16, 14 April 2014 (BST)
Agreed. I was meaning more, if the office hasn't generated the summary demographic data by now, then it may be too late. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 21:45, 14 April 2014 (BST)
True. I would have expected a detailed analysis, which I thought had been mentioned as an outcome in the survey discussion, particularly as the discussion itself probed into quite low level. However I cannot see that in the text now, so that impression might have been unfounded. -- (talk) 21:59, 14 April 2014 (BST)
I am sure the data was captured, it was a fundamental part of why the survey was run and the other "opinions" part wasn't lost. Anyway, why are we speculating? I don't mind the discussion but my original post was intended simply as a request to somebody in the office to release the data. Could the office please confirm when that part will be released? After all, there were only about c. 57 replies. It's weird when we talk amongst ourselves like this and we know people in the office and trustees read this page and have the answer and they lurk and don't comment. It's a bit passive aggressive to be honest. Philafrenzy (talk) 23:01, 14 April 2014 (BST)
There have been 2 working days since you raised your question. 3 employees were required to spend a long weekend in Berlin, and they may well be having time off in lieu as seems the working practice. -- (talk) 23:14, 14 April 2014 (BST)
Indeed, give them a bit more of a chance. :-) Remember that trustees won't know this level of detail, so it is down to the staff to reply here during their working hours. Fæ, having time off in lieu is a very good working practice that should be praised, although (going off at a tangent) it would be very nice to have a page that lets us know which days staff members are working and quick responses can be expected, and when they're away. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 23:24, 14 April 2014 (BST)
Time off in lieu is an administrative working practice, not a praiseworthy achievement of itself. Whether it is effective, and if it benefits the employee are separate things to be managed. I have experienced organizations where it has become a burden to the employee, who might rather have their weekend with their family, or a predictable work/life balance, or it ends up being discriminatory against employees with young families who are less likely to be able to take advantage of it.
I had hoped that after more than 3 years since we started discussing it, the shared calendar for the charity would have this sort of information about absence on it, particularly for the CEO where there have been several occaisons I can recall when Jon being away on holiday, and having nobody delegated to handle particular issues, caused avoidable delay and friction. -- (talk) 23:35, 14 April 2014 (BST)
We're getting very much off-topic here! Perhaps this would be worth splitting off into a separate section?
With regards time off in lieu: I was referring to providing time off after a staff member has worked during a weekend, not whether it is a good thing to expect an employee to work during a weekend. Do you think it is a bad thing to give it to a staff member that has opted to work on a weekend/outside of hours? I'd agree with regards the rest of your points about this, although they aren't related to my comment here.
I'd agree with your comments about the shared calendar. I'm getting rather tired of suggesting this now. :-( Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 00:31, 15 April 2014 (BST)
This is now getting on for a week with no reply from the office, and easter starts tomorrow... :-/ Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 09:06, 17 April 2014 (BST)
Hi Mike, just a quick note that I have flagged this and someone will hopefully get back to you soon. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 11:18, 17 April 2014 (BST)
There should be a report available within a week of the end of the Easter break, by Monday 28th. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 11:36, 17 April 2014 (BST)
Report on the missing part of the survey? Philafrenzy (talk) 11:56, 17 April 2014 (BST)
Yes, that's what I meant. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:21, 18 April 2014 (BST)

See #WMUK membership survey - 2013 demographics report, below, for details of the report. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 10:37, 24 April 2014 (BST)

WMUK membership survey - 2013 demographics report

In addition to the main part of the November 2013 members' survey, members were asked a series of demographic-related questions, answers to which were provided on a strictly anonymous basis. 54 members gave answers to some or all of the demographics questions. Our report on the responses has now been published and can be found at WMUK membership survey - 2013 demographics report. The main 2013 survey page, with links to the main report, is at WMUK membership survey 2013. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 10:37, 24 April 2014 (BST)

Thanks for making the effort to put this together. It is nice to see this being done by a volunteer.
Could a reason be given as to why this has been published so long after the survey? Thanks -- (talk) 10:45, 24 April 2014 (BST)
I am sorry this has taken so long. I think a lack of staff time was contributing to the delay, which is why I volunteered to complete it. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 10:50, 24 April 2014 (BST)
Thank you for taking this on Michael, it is good that we have data on where we are now so we can know how we are improving (or not) as we go forward. Which leads me to ask are the raw figures that are not publicly reported stored anywhere, so they can be compared with the next survey's responses?
On an organisational matter, it will probably good for future years to establish who will compile both portions of the responses before we publish them. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 12:37, 24 April 2014 (BST)
There are no surprises here I think, except the 17% who report health issues. Was any further info captured about this that would enable those issues to be addressed in terms of event locations, special equipment etc? I also believe that the sexual orientation and change of gender questions are mainly being asked out of political correctness and are both intrusive and do not gather information we can do very much with. For those reasons they should probably be dropped next time. We are also gathering far too much information about educational qualifications for which we have no real use. It's not like people stop learning once they leave formal education. It would be useful to see the results side by side with other years once a core set of agreed questions can be established to allow comparability year on year. Philafrenzy (talk) 19:35, 24 April 2014 (BST)
Unfortunately because 'political correctness' is generally such a quick-fire pejorative it's hard to know what your exact concern is here (maybe expand?). In any case, there might be reasons this data is useful, just as we're interested in diversity in editors, so too in our own community (assuming you buy-in to the need to diversify the community). Re: educational qualifications, we might also care about the no. of PhDs in our membership, again it's also interesting information regarding the diversity of our community, it might suggest gaps in the kinds of people we're reaching. I should look at how these questions were asked again though. Sjgknight (talk) 20:06, 24 April 2014 (BST)
Allow me to clarify Simon. I believe we are asking those sort of questions because they are the sort of questions we think we ought to be asking not because there is anything we can do with the replies. There is a presumption under Data Protection principles that when asking highly personal questions you only do so when you have a very good reason. A generalised assertion of wanting "diversity" or "might be useful" or "interesting" is not really good enough. People are diverse in many ways that we haven't asked about in the survey, and I think each question should have a strong rationale for its inclusion in the survey. The more personal the question the greater the need for a strong justification for including it. That means having some sort of plan to do something with the results. It also means that it is reasonable to believe that the answers have a bearing on the organisation's ability to achieve its goals. As for educational qualifications, we have five categories. Could you please explain what practical difference it makes whether someone ticks the first box or the second, or the second or the third? Philafrenzy (talk) 20:24, 24 April 2014 (BST)
Thanks for the clarification. I think it's best if I just refer back to the conversation about this here, here, note that these were collected confidentially (separately from other results). People are diverse in many ways, but I think it's entirely appropriate we take particular interest in under-represented groups. Re: education education level question planning see here, I don't know what you're suggesting would be better but note you simply select the highest level of attained and this is a very common method to assess education status. Sjgknight (talk) 20:56, 24 April 2014 (BST)
I am suggesting we consider dropping those questions and replacing them with something more useful Simon. A fuller exploration of health or disability or child care or age issues perhaps, all of which might be more directly relevant to ability to participate than gender or orientation questions, or educational qualifications. I stand to be corrected but I believe that the LGBT community is quite well represented in fact, and we know Wikimedians tend to be well educated. We should allow the results of one survey to lead to an evolution in the next whilst preserving a core of basic questions to allow comparability. Philafrenzy (talk) 21:18, 24 April 2014 (BST)
I have some sympathy with your concerns, Philafenzy, now we have seen the actual numbers. As mentioned in the report, most of the line items listed there are grouped for reporting purposes, and the actual questions were in many cases more granular than I was able to publish without breaching confidentiality - so granular in fact that in many cases there were no more than zero or one responses. That's not to say that the survey questions were necessarily wrong ab initio, simply that next time we ought to be mindful of the fact that the numbers are small (only 54 responses) which means we cannot meaningfully dig very deeply into all the detail that people might like to know about. I would also agree that we should ask potentially intrusive questions only where we can (and where we intend to) take action in dependence upon the results, though I am aware that some do not agree with me on that point. On the question of health, the survey did not provide feedback about event locations, nor on equipment apart from the one response about the desirability of a big screen --MichaelMaggs (talk) 22:59, 24 April 2014 (BST)
I must point out Michael that I repeatedly asked for more effort to be put in to increase the sample size up to closer to 100 before the survey was closed to give greater statistical significance to the results. I suggested a number of ways to do that. I hope some of those suggestions will be adopted next time. I am sure the technical wizards in the office known much better than me how to do that. On your other point, Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act states "Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed." Each question needs to pass this test or we are in breach of the law. More generally, the questions in the survey may tend to reflect the preoccupations of those that designed it (including my input). If there were a lot of people with small children in the office and community, for example, we might have more questions about childcare and similar in other areas. Philafrenzy (talk) 23:34, 24 April 2014 (BST)

Voting for the affiliate-selected seats on the board of the Wikimedia Foundation

Voting procedure

Voting for the affiliate-selected board seats is now open, and we as a chapter have to place our vote by 31st May by ranking the candidates in order of preference. The two available seats are reserved specifically for candidates chosen by the affiliate organisations. Before making any decision the WMUK board would like to seek input from our own volunteers and members.

The candidates are as follows:

Anyone can ask questions of the candidates by posting on the talk pages of each candidate statement. You can also ask questions of all the candidates by posting to this page: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2014/Questions.

Community comments on the candidates

If you have any comments on the candidates, or suggestions for the WMUK board as to who you would like the chapter to support, please indicate below. Reasoned comments are preferred, as the candidates are not being selected by popular vote. I would suggest that staff and board members should not post here, and should leave this area free for community comments. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 11:23, 16 April 2014 (BST)

Comments on Frieda Brioschi
Comments on Patricio Lorente
Comments on Anders Wennersten
Comments on Alice Wiegand

Updating our terms of use

In an earlier discussion, Thryduulf noted that the "Terms of use" link at the bottom of every page still directs users to the terms of use page on the WMF Foundation Wiki (Foundation:Terms of use). Since WMUK services, including the wiki, are now independently hosted, our terms of use need to be modified. I asked for community input on 11th March, and again on 19th, and as there appears to be no volunteer appetite to work on this I have put up some thoughts of my own for discussion.

Please visit Terms of use and Disclaimers. I would suggest that detailed comments are left on the talk pages rather than here. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 12:47, 25 April 2014 (BST)

Thanks for posting these. They look broadly good to me. :-) You may want to link to the Participation policy somewhere in them too (assuming that applies to this wiki as it would an event), and maybe consider asking for feedback from the global community on the document at meta:Talk:Terms of use. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 20:24, 28 April 2014 (BST)
Thanks. Have done the first. I'm less sure about asking for feedback on Meta, though, as readers there will be more used to the terms of WMF content sites, whereas we are a different beast - a UK charitable company that works in the same field but is independent of the WMF. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 16:56, 30 April 2014 (BST)
I'm not sure they're so different, particularly from the community angle, and I think they would have useful comments to make based on their experiences from the process of putting together the WMF T&C. Is there a downside to asking them for their thoughts? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 11:59, 1 May 2014 (BST)

More in the BBC

Good comments from Stevie in the continuing coverage of government IP edits and nice balanced and factually accurate descriptions of the work of WMUK and Wikipedia. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27203371 Philafrenzy (talk) 10:26, 30 April 2014 (BST)

Thank you, Philafrenzy. I suspect that we haven't seen the last of this story. As more journalists learn about the wonder of edit histories, there may be more to come. It's also been published in The Drum and I've asked for the relevant corrections. I'll share other coverage as it appears. Thank you. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 11:59, 30 April 2014 (BST)
Objectionable though the changes were, this sort of thing is actually an excellent opportunity to show that our systems work and to increase the profile of the chapter with the UK media. Philafrenzy (talk) 12:52, 30 April 2014 (BST)

G1.2 measuring use of WMUK related files

WMUK sponsored the upload of this picture of the Goddess Kalika, a 16th century watercolour, India.

In the Strategy monitoring plan, the target for percentage of WMUK-related files in mainspace use on a Wikimedia project (excluding Commons) is set at 13% for 2014. Mostly due to some of my batch upload projects being supported by the chapter, uploads so far this year (4 months in) are more than 31,000 images, significantly more than the entire 12 months of 2013. At the moment, GLAMorous shows usage hovering at 1.4%, not unexpected for recent large batch uploads. Personally I would expect that even with a significant promotional campaign by the chapter to get, say, the LACMA uploads in greater use, overall usage would struggle to exceed 5%.

Any thoughts on how to have the board reset/redefine the metrics being used as part of "G1.2" to be more meaningful and realistic? There is a danger that the metrics chosen will make the success of sponsoring large amounts of media being made available to support open knowledge, look like a bad tactical operational choice. -- (talk) 17:18, 1 May 2014 (BST)

The nature of image uploads is that their usage can vary wildly, and of course will accumulate over time. While your uploads may not be successful in gaining usage, after all finding thousands of articles to illustrate is time consuming, other projects may be. The target is a guideline, and if we don't reach it, then we can provide a narrative as to why that is. If the answer is we have uploaded more images than previously and they haven't found uses yet, that's not a bad thing and something I wouldn't be concerned about. Usage in Wikimedia projects increases the reach of these files, but having them on Commons is useful in itself. Hence why usage is one of several metrics under that goal. I am not convinced that we need a kneejerk reaction to adjust this metric a mere three months into the year. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 17:27, 1 May 2014 (BST)
That said, the baseline estimate for 2012-13 was 5%, however the usage for 2013-14 was significantly higher than expected. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 17:28, 1 May 2014 (BST)
I notice that all the other targets/metrics in G1.2 are done in terms of numbers of files, rather than percent of files. This avoids this problem. Yaris678 (talk) 19:51, 1 May 2014 (BST)
Let's see how the figures develop over the course of the year. If as a direct result of your uploads we fail to achieve that particular target, we should explain that in the narrative. If the upload numbers are so high that the percentage target turns out to be unachievable, that would actually be a good thing overall, and next year we can learn and perhaps come up with a better target. Leaving the target in place for now may even encourage people to make more effort to use the uploaded files, which would also be good. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 15:59, 2 May 2014 (BST)

Transparency commitments

Our new Strategic goal G2b.2 states that: "We have a high level of openness and transparency, and are recognised for such within the Wikimedia movement and the UK charity sector". See Strategy monitoring plan.

One of our transparency KPIs is a quarterly narrative to be prepared by the Governance Committee (Govcom). The narrative has to address "Transparency compliance as determined by Govcom against published transparency commitments".

We would be interested to hear from the community how Govcom should best address that quarterly task. At present, our 'published transparency commitments' are rather general. Our Vision (V4) states that "We are transparent in our operations, both to our communities and more generally to the public".

A list of more specific commitments might potentially be agreed, which would be easier to measure than a general standard but which could create a tendency to reduce transparency to box-ticking. Measuring many detailed and very specific commitments would also eat up huge amounts of staff and trustee time on a quarterly basis which may not be an efficient way to focus resources on our actual mission.

Thoughts would be welcome. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:52, 6 May 2014 (BST)

Please refer to Talk:Volunteer_committees#Volunteer.3F for a concrete example. -- (talk) 23:30, 8 May 2014 (BST)

Help needed to design surveys

As a result of our new Strategy, we need to be able to measure three new KPIs which depend on annual survey evidence. They are:

An awareness score in an annual national survey of public opinion

This relates to Strategic goal G1.3: "We are perceived as the go-to organisation by UK GLAM, educational, and other organisations who need support or advice for the development of Open Knowledge". This will need a survey of the general public (to be administered by an outside agency).

An annual survey capability score (self-identified)

This relates to Strategic goal G2a.3: "WMUK volunteers are skilled and capable.". This will need a survey of WMUK volunteers (to be administered by us).

A transparency score as measured by annual survey

This relates to Strategic goal G2b.2: "We have a high level of openness and transparency, and are recognised for such within the Wikimedia movement and the UK charity sector.". This will need a survey within the Wikimedia movement and the UK charitable sector (probably to be administered by us).

It would be good to have two or three volunteers who could take a lead in designing the survey questions, with help from the staff. Any takers, please? --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:55, 6 May 2014 (BST)

You need to ensure that there is volunteer buy-in for these measures before asking for volunteers to conduct surveys, otherwise you won't get volunteers willing to work on surveys about these measures... Mike Peel (talk) 22:41, 8 May 2014 (BST)
I think we need a survey to determine if we need these surveys. Volunteers? Philafrenzy (talk) 00:29, 9 May 2014 (BST)

I'd like to help on this, as it would follow-on well from the survey work I did last year. However I'm now committed to Wikimania work until late August. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 11:28, 9 May 2014 (BST)

A charter for our volunteer committees

Govcom made the following recommendation to the Wikimedia UK board in December 2013:

[We should] redefine the role and purpose of the non-board committees to give them greater prominence, and if need be re-constitute and re-vitalise them with greater volunteer input to drive forward programmes. At present, the roles and memberships of non-board committees are somewhat unclear, and that has led to atrophy and lack of focus. Board/committee communication needs to be improved, and better board support for the committees’ work is needed. We would hope and expect that this will result in considerably greater community involvement.

I have put up a draft charter for discussion at Volunteer committees, and would like to hear what everyone thinks. While it's not actually possible for a charter alone to re-vitalise our committees (bearing in mind it's only people not policy that can ultimate do that), is this a move in the right sort of direction? --MichaelMaggs (talk) 15:03, 7 May 2014 (BST)

A minor observation. Better defining the committees will help with focus, however I do not believe there is any evidence that this is the underpinning cause of "atrophy". There are a lot of committees listed by the board of trustees, certainly compared to 3 years ago, but the number of active members1 who are interested in participating in the affairs of the Chapter has not grown (probably increased by 30-50% in 3 years) in proportion to other measures of growth such as employee numbers (1000%) or levels of WMF funding (300%+). However this is sliced, if we do not have a wealth of members keen to take on the responsibility of joining and pushing the development and activities of each committee, then the few that enjoy supporting the Chapter in this way will be overstretched and likely to burn-out after over-committing themselves.
I believe the solution to your perception of atrophy, must be to significantly grow the levels of active members, back before 2012 we were doubling this number every year, so there seems little in the way of prioritizing this key objective or setting ambitious targets for it. -- (talk) 20:56, 7 May 2014 (BST)
1—volunteers who are not members will not be allowed take part in committees under the proposed policy.
It is indeed prioritized. Increasing the number of volunteers is a specific measured KPI under our strategic goal G2a.1: We have a thriving community of WMUK volunteers. And more active volunteers means more members. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 21:41, 7 May 2014 (BST)
Sure, I am aware of the published strategy. The targets do not include any specific targets for membership, such as doubling it, and as the same document notes, active volunteers on Wikimedia projects and events is not the same goal or measurement as increasing the number of paying or active members of the Chapter who might be interested in taking part in Committee meetings.
By the way, I do not think it is fair to claim that there is a KPI that measures the number of active volunteers, if there are actually no published reports of this number this year, and no plans to be any reports on this number for this in the future. -- (talk) 20:12, 9 May 2014 (BST)
I'm afraid you have misunderstood the reporting. Volunteer numbers will be reported in the quarter 1 report to the FDC. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 20:18, 9 May 2014 (BST)
All the KPIs on the Strategy monitoring plan page are going to be published quarterly: that's the whole point. The first quarter's data will be published in the FDC report, in reports to the June Board, and on the wiki. MichaelMaggs (talk) 21:03, 9 May 2014 (BST)
Then yes, this is confusing. I previously thought it had been made clear that the number of active volunteers was no longer going to be measured and the fact that it has not been reported for over six months would back that up. Presumably the charity is using a non-standard definition for the dates of Quarter 1; when will this report be available for members? -- (talk) 21:33, 9 May 2014 (BST)
Not sure an exact date has been determined yet, but definitely well before the Board meeting on June 7th. So in few weeks time at the most. The charity's year starts on 1st February, for some historical reason, so the first quarter results will cover the period 1st February to 30 April. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 21:43, 9 May 2014 (BST)
We used the same dates in 2012-13 and the financial year starts on 1 February. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 21:59, 9 May 2014 (BST)
Having been the Chair, I'm familiar with the financial year chosen for the charity and I was part of the discussions (more than once) making the decision to stick to February, this need not have been the same quarters now chosen for KPI reporting. Considering the dates of the FDC bid cycle, I would have thought the first quarter within that annual cycle (Quarter 4) could have adopted figures promised in the FDC bid, rather than having a six month gap. Anyway, as has been said many times in the last few years, that's in the past so I'll just wait for the next report to have the KPI based performance measures. -- (talk) 00:25, 10 May 2014 (BST)

Charters of Board committees

I suspect this may be of very limited interest to most, but I am posting here for the sake of transparency. Govcom is considering recommending to the Board some minor changes to the Board committee charters. Details are as follows:

--MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:26, 7 May 2014 (BST)

Hi Michael. Please can you summarise what the key changes are here? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:29, 8 May 2014 (BST)
Govcom: chaired by Chair of Board as recommended by Hudson review and approved by Board; general governance advice moved to top of the list to reflect actual workload. ARC: make it clearer that the Treasurer is a member ex officio; slight re-write of 'observer' wording, for consistency with Govcom; appointment of Chair to be ratified by the Board; meetings should be called by the Chair of the Committee. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 14:47, 11 May 2014 (BST)

Role of the Water cooler

Looking at posts over the last month or so on the Water cooler, rather than being a place to "discuss our external projects and activities", it seems to have become an effectively passive events announcements and official notices page, rather than its historical use as an unofficial volunteer community discussion forum. As any discussion of interest is invariably now moved to the Engine Room, would it be sensible to change the notice at the top of the page accurately to reflect the way the page is now used as a landing page to promote and post news of events of the charity? -- (talk) 11:28, 8 May 2014 (BST)

Your post immediately above this one is definitely project-related and would be an ideal community post for the Water Cooler. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 11:53, 8 May 2014 (BST)
Thanks for the observation. I am unsure if you have any view on my question?
An absence of recent discussion by unpaid volunteers on the Water cooler, indicates to me that recent changes to how this is controlled have resulted in this significantly decreasing its value as a communications channel for active volunteers. Particularly when compared to how lively it was a year or two ago, as can be seen in the archives. -- (talk) 14:45, 9 May 2014 (BST)
Since the split though the quality of the discussion has increased, which was the aim of the split. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 23:11, 10 May 2014 (BST)
My question was about the notice. Do you have any view on that? -- (talk) 09:51, 11 May 2014 (BST)
Yes, I have a view on the notice: it correctly sets out the scope of the Water Cooler. Answering your actual question is not possible as it includes a fallacious presupposition as a rhetorical tool. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 13:18, 11 May 2014 (BST)
Thanks for the feedback. It is never my intention to engage in false political or meaningless rhetoric which cannot be supported. Which actual assertion or perceived presupposition do you believe is false, and makes answering it impossible? There are several possible that might be read into it, and I can certainly support the assertions such as the quote from the notice, historical usage and how it is currently not being used by volunteers who are not trustees, employees or contractors in the last month or so. I really wish to avoid wikilawyering, but if you think it is necessary I can unbundle it into a series of more direct questions supported by non-controversial evidence. -- (talk) 16:23, 11 May 2014 (BST)

Where can I find 2014 programmes as opposed to just budget?

I was wondering where last year's ideas for activities around this year's centenary of the First World War had gone, or what outcomes there had been in this area even if it had been reduced, considering there was originally £20,000 agreed by the trustees to be spent on it. Checking 2014 Activity Plan/GLAM Outreach I was surprised that this document contains no details of any GLAM projects, in fact it only appears to link to a budget for 2013 and the section on "timelines" remains blank apart from the note please add details.

Where can I find a tangible 2014 plan for GLAM, with details that can be measured as opposed to reports of stuff that has already happened? -- (talk) 11:07, 9 May 2014 (BST)

Based on the fact that it has now been a week, this appears to be a "non-success".
I suggest that the board of trustees consider changing the Activity Plan wording so that there is a realistic expectation given to members that when we discuss plans, the charity means standard budget forecasts, reports of what happened in the previous quarter and actions (not plans) for the coming quarter.
These would normally be called "reports" and in addition one would expect the CEO to ensure a schedule spanning the funded programmes is maintained (the next 12 months in the case of this charity) and a work breakdown with associated measurable outcomes. The board of trustees may find this a useful strategic discussion at some point soon, in order to help provide the quality of oversight that most large national charities would expect. -- (talk) 12:21, 15 May 2014 (BST)
While it has been almost a week since your question, our GLAM Organiser is part-time. A considerable amount of his time has been spent on helping with FDC reporting for Q1 so you may have to wait for an answer. When he is next in I will ask Jonathan Cardy when he has time to answer. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:49, 15 May 2014 (BST)
I was expecting either a link to the plan so I could look at it, or a statement saying there is no plan. My question was not intended to be directed at anyone, I certainly am not asking employees direct questions. This could be answered by the CEO, any trustee as they follow and review these documents, or another unpaid volunteer up to date on programme reporting, who might be comfortable answering.
As it happens I have been in discussion with Jonathan on other matters in this time. I note that the Activity Plan does not name Jonathan as being responsible for a plan, and that the supporting detailed document says "Daria Cybulska with delegated support from Jonathan Cardy" which I was aware of, but had made no assumptions about. -- (talk) 15:09, 15 May 2014 (BST)
Likewise Daria and the CEO have been extraordinarily busy in particular with drafting the FDC report. I'm afraid an answer will have to wait until staff workloads are more manageable. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 16:10, 15 May 2014 (BST)
Thanks. I am sorry that the last week had been a bad time. Again, it was never my intention for this to be seen a question directed to an employee.
@MichaelMaggs: Would a trustee or a knowledgeable volunteer like to answer my question? It seems a simple and short one if anyone knows the answer. Thanks -- (talk) 16:57, 15 May 2014 (BST)
It has now over 2 weeks 6 weeks since my question "Where can I find a tangible 2014 plan" was raised. I am sorry if this has been seen as a trick question of some sort, it was not intended that way. -- (talk) 10:36, 25 June 2014 (BST)
Nearly 16 weeks have gone by no reply, apart from an explanation that employees are busy. Certainly Wikimania and ensuring that I was not allowed membership at the AGM, were understandable priority matters for employees, however I hope that the board appreciates that letting this question drift in silence for 4 months does not make the charity appear open to questions about plans and reporting from its unpaid volunteers. -- (talk) 13:26, 26 August 2014 (BST)
This question has been left hanging for quite some time now. It seems quite a reasonable question. Could someone please answer it, or if no one is able to do so, explain why no answer is available? (Or, I guess, explain why the question is not reasonable). TheOverflow (talk) 20:41, 16 September 2014 (BST)
Apologies from the office this delay is not good enough. The full reply should come from our GLAM organiser but personal business has taken him out of the country. I have emailed him with a request to reply once he has returned. In mitigation we could point to Wikimania and the summer holidays but this should not have slipped.
I can shed a little light on one or two things though. Fist the World War One issues. We once had high hopes for a Wikmedian in Residence at the Imperial War Museum (IWM) and put funds in the budgets for two years. It just didn't happen owing to one delay after another (although we did do a really excellent WW1 Editathon at the British Library). Eventually the anniversary came too close and we were forced to concede defeat. We are however still in friendly dialogue with the IWM and have hopes for something substantial in the future.
Our reporting systems have changed a great deal since the advent of the FDC grant and their reporting requirements. These outline the programme and define the metrics for success. All GLAM activities are of course also reported in the "This Month In Glam" newsletter(thismonthinglam@gmail.com) You will find details of our programme there. In addition our GLAM organiser has his own plan with more detail but I will leave him to reply. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 14:10, 18 September 2014 (BST)
Thanks TheOverflow. As your comment here got a response within one working day while it is now 19 weeks (that's 4 months and 9 days) since my original request, I think it reasonable to conclude that the delay was due to the person asking the question being publicly blanked, not actually the words or tone of the question itself, or that the relevant member of staff has been unavailable or too busy to respond for one third of a year. -- (talk) 12:32, 19 September 2014 (BST)
Apologies for tardy response. The GLAM plan is linked to 2014 Activity Plan/GLAM Outreach I will watchlist the talkpage of that if anyone wishes to discuss specifics. The programme is discussed in the GLAM committee minutes and agendas which are published in Category:GLAM Committee and expanded reports are on the Outreach wiki. Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 13:48, 19 September 2014 (BST)
Hi Jonathan, thanks for the link to the Google document (GLAM plan 2014). This was created in April, which was before I asked my question 4 months ago, so it could have part of a reply. Since the plan was created I have become the only volunteer officially indefinitely unable to pay for membership and so cannot apply to the chapter for funding my projects. You may want to consider removing or clarifying the two that are claimed as part of the plan, as the chapter is no longer in communication with me about them.
WWI and WWII events are not part of the document, so whether they happen would not be a specific measure of success, as these are not an identified outcome. This may be because the GLAM plan 2014 is focused on budget estimates and associated high level metrics, rather than being a conventional plan with named outcomes or timescales for delivering specific project outcomes. -- (talk) 16:55, 19 September 2014 (BST)
Dear Fae, we have funds available for equipment and other costs involved in projects such as the mass uploads you are doing. For example there has to be an upload size where it is sensible to transport a physical device to the states rather than upload over the Internet. If that looks like it will happen then please send me an email before you spend anything and I will see what I can do. As for the plan, I take your point and will do some updates. We are in the process of accepting an equipment donation which will require some plan updating. Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 10:16, 20 September 2014 (BST)

Proposed amendments to update charity's security and data protection policies: Revised Deadline of 5th June!

Hi all,

I am going to be working over the next few days on amending the charity's policies that refer to processing and storage of personal information to bring them up to date or better reflect actual operational practice. What I will do is create sub-pages of the existing policies under a 'proposed revisions' page and then post those links under my posting here.

I would welcome help by either discussion on the broader themes that may interest our community (balancing the requirements of the law with flexible working and being able to be transparent) here, and specific suggestions for amendments or questions for why I have made amendments on the talk pages of the proposed revision drafts.

If there is anything I've missed I'm open to hearing about it - some gaps I know we need to fill in the coming months are a data retention policy in line with the Foundation's and a broader statement on data governance and risk which I hope to develop with GovComm. Anything else the (many!) savvy types on privacy and data issues want to highlight - please do. I will try and drop a line linking back here on talk pages to those who I know have expressed interest in these issues in the past.

This is quite a bit of work so I'll be pushing on with it on top of other things over the next two weeks with a view to propose amended versions to the Board in June by the end of next week (May 23rd) as I will be on annual leave the following week (27th - 30th May)

If there are policies that are causing obvious concern however I'm prepared to hold back on those to extend the discussion period so please do make that point if you need to. Lets try and keep things to Wiki but if you're concerned I'm not responding promptly please email me (katherine.bavage[@]wikimedia.org.uk).

Thanks all - links to proposed amends pages to follow! Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 16:44, 13 May 2014 (BST)

After discussion with Michael as Chair he has agreed that these changes, while important, do not need to be submitted in order to meet deadlines for Board papers, because the board can review and approve/refuse recommended changes on wiki around the meeting rather than at it. This does not preclude there being more high level consideration of data governance matters at board or committee meetings in future - indeed I am envisioning there will be - but that we need to amend these now to ensure the charity remains in compliance with the law and staff are supported to use best practice in carrying out their work.
I am therefore proposing an extended deadline, both because it allows more time for community comment should there be some additional, and because it will allow me more time on my return from annual leave* to put in place some completed supporting documentation and other changes. If there are comments made in my absence I am sure other members of staff will respond to requests for info where they can, and of course I'll pick up on my return.
* I am on annual leave 26th May - 30th May inclusive and will be back answering emails and working on this following 2nd June. Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 14:33, 23 May 2014 (BST)
There is no issue with this decision, however are two lines of logic to this which may need the board to revisit trustee processes, so I'm separating them:
  1. Out of meeting decision making - As I recall, a key reason that the board introduced votes of trustees outside of board meetings was to easily enable trustees to make decisions on policy changes in advance of a board meeting. This nicely reduces the workload for meetings and trustees can take a more relaxed approach to reviewing material and asking questions (because on-wiki votes can run for a month). In practice, Operations then consider the decision made, however the legal ratification has to still occur at the scheduled board meeting, for technical reasons more than common-sense ones. From what I have seen this year, I am unsure how well this is being practically applied by the board, or if it is particularly helpful if the board has become less proactive than in years past.
  2. CEO authority - There is a division between operational procedures/detailed policy, and policies that require authorization by the board of trustees. Having delegated a scope of authority and responsibility to the CEO, practical decisions at the operational level should be up to the CEO, which may include changing practices to adopt a draft policy. He is then held to account for outcomes of whatever practical decisions he has made in-between board meetings. In the case of data policies, there may well be immediate need to make operational decisions against currently authorized policy, however this would be the difference between handling an incident and correctly communicating it, and legally agreeing how the articles are implemented by the charity.
In the second issue of CEO authority, I doubt that the way that authority has been delegated to the CEO makes the boundaries very clear, this is not necessarily a "non-success", as within a slowly maturing organization it is often better to let bureaucracy be changed by experience rather than dubious hypothesis. Certainly, wiki-lawyering it to death would be unhelpful. -- (talk) 15:55, 23 May 2014 (BST)

Page links

International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance part two

Hello everyone. I wanted to bring this back on the agenda. For clarity, I initially proposed that Wikimedia UK gets involved with this somehow here last year. The reason I am bringing this up again is because the Wikimedia Foundation has announced that it has signed the principles. Essentially, the principles make a statement against mass surveillance of internet users. Again, I think that this is in scope and showing support for these principles is important. I hope that we can revisit this issue. You can read the principles here. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 11:19, 14 May 2014 (BST)

I am surprised and disappointed that this is being lobbied for a second time. The text has not changed or improved since the previous discussion here. The document will be offensive to many, as LGBT minorities have been explicitly excluded from the "Legitimate Aim" section, despite "sexual orientation" being mentioned in the unenforceable preamble. Were the board of trustees to choose to support this document they would be going against the spirit of, and possibly be in breach of, "Wikimedia UK as Service Provider" in Diversity and Equalities Policy and value 5 of Vision, values and mission.
I am not aware of the WMF seeking any consultation with the community. I would be happy to be provided with some links if this has happened. I have posted the same request on the WMF blog post.
I have alerted the Wikimedia LGBT group here. -- (talk) 18:33, 14 May 2014 (BST)
For those interested, Roshni Patel of the Wikimedia Foundation addresses Fae's concerns directly:
"Hi Fae,

Prior to signing on to the Necessary and Proportionate Principles, we consulted the advocacy advisors. You can find that here.

The list of prohibited discriminations under the “Legitimate Aim” principle is non-exclusive and includes “other status.” Given that sexual orientation was listed in the preamble, it would certainly be included under “other status”.

I am certain that if LGBT groups were directly excluded the Wikimedia Foundation would not have signed the principles. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 09:54, 15 May 2014 (BST)
Patel has given a tangential reply rather than a direct response to the issues. I'm afraid Patel's assumption is unfounded, from this it can be seen that there has been no community consultation where interested groups, such as Wikimedia LGBT, might be allowed to have a voice before the WMF made this irrevocable action. It should be noted that Patel's post is not a statement for the WMF. Though she is being employed or sponsored by the WMF as a 'Fellow', her profile on the Foundation website is quick to ensure that nothing she publishes represents the WMF, unless explicitly stated otherwise. I will be responding, probably later today.
With regard to your being "certain that if LGBT groups were directly excluded the Wikimedia Foundation would not have signed the principles", you are welcome to hold those beliefs, however I am discussing the blog post and can only go by what is written there and the words of the document that the WMF has now committed itself to. Based on advice I have been given on the Advocacy Advisors email list, the WMF should follow their own consultation policy, and this appears to have explicitly not happened in this instance.
Wikimedia UK does not need to have an opinion on these principles, the charity can just say "good work" or similar. Again I am disappointed to see this being lobbied for so hard here, when the previous community discussion was, at best, controversial. -- (talk) 11:20, 15 May 2014 (BST)
I have not been following the discussion which led to the WMF signing up to these principles and don't intend to go trawling over loads of discussions to find out who was consulted and who thought what. The WMF will no doubt have had good reasons for wanting to sign up. However I also feel that a set of principles which has a section on legitimate use of surveillance and specifically omits sexual orientation from a list of exclusions is very seriously defective. WMUK should consider whether it is in the best interests of the charity to sign up to a set of principles which, for example, the Ugandan government could comply with while undertaking surveillance for the purpose of targeting gay men for arrest and imprisonment. Since our signature is not needed on these principles I will take a lot of persuading that they are a good thing for us to do. Mccapra (talk) 17:33, 17 May 2014 (BST)

Museum photography

Would it be worth putting effort into trying to make this list as extensive as possible for the UK:


04:46, 3 April 2014 (BST)

There are something like 2,500 museums in the UK. A comprehensive list noting how suitable they are for photography would be a pretty serious undertaking. Maybe if we narrow it down to something like the 100 most frequently visited museums. It could very easily end up that the UK would need it's own table or even a separate page. I think it would probably be a useful undertaking. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 11:49, 3 April 2014 (BST)
I wonder if this would be something best done via Wikipedia or Wikidata, rather than commons. On Wikipedia, it could maybe be done with an additional infobox parameter that categorises the museum's article into an appropriate hidden category. On Wikidata, I guess it would need an additional parameter to be added that would allow the (referenced) addition of the information. I'm not sure I can see the point in doing this just on Commons for the Commons community nowadays, when it could be done much more generally. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 20:11, 4 April 2014 (BST)
wikivoyage would be the other interested project. Trying to find out for all of them makes it a decent crowdsourced project. 100 isn't far off what I could dig out of my own archives.Geni (talk) 05:42, 16 April 2014 (BST)

Something more proactive?

Perhaps we should be doing something more proactive here, and setting out the types of permissions we'd like to see museums give their visitors, and persuading the museums to adopt those permissions? Something along the lines of Creative Commons, but for museum photography permissions? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:17, 21 April 2014 (BST)

I suspect a good starting point for defining that is to understand what permissions different institutions currently grant. There is no sense in inventing a wheel before we know whether one has already been invented. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 13:19, 22 April 2014 (BST)
I think the commons page gives a reasonable cross-spectrum of the types of permissions that institutions currently grant. I'd agree, though, about reinventing the wheel - I don't know if standard guidance exists for museums here or not. I guess the first step might be to ask an organisation like collections trust or culture24 if they have standard advice they give out at the moment that could be built on, if there's the interest in doing this. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 20:45, 28 April 2014 (BST)

There was some interesting discussion here, but I'm not sure anything has really come of it. Does anyone want to suggest a way forward? Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 13:44, 2 June 2014 (BST)

We have barely a handful of active volunteers who are interested in spending time on GLAM photography projects, read this wiki and contribute to guidelines on Commons, and I would advise against making this an employee created initiative. I have to say, there is far greater impact to be had by focusing on other areas of concern, that do not create a guideline wiki page that itself creates volunteer maintenance burden as the page will go out of date every year. At Wikimania there will be representation from several major UK GLAMs, it may be an idea to workshop some ideas there. The NY GLAM workshop in 2012 was bouncing around the idea of a website icon showing the GLAM's commitment to open knowledge, the level to which they allow public photography could be a part of this (e.g. the BM allows photography but not in special exhibitions) which could then be automatically data-mined to supply the sort of guideline table that has been discussed here. I would not underestimate the difficulty of implementing anything pragmatic—the 2012 concept was simple and highly "sell-able", it has yet to get anywhere and for that reason I would not want to be responsible for delivering it. -- (talk) 15:38, 2 June 2014 (BST)

Trustee Expenses

Details posted on the engine room in response to a request at Engine room/2014#Attendees at the Wikimedia Conference 2014?

As the previous discussion has been manually archived here, I have created this second thread so that the costs which are due to be reported by 22 May (2 days time) can be linked and may be discussed by volunteers on this noticeboard. It should be noted that some of the expenses have been declared on Expenses 2013-2014, it cannot be presumed to be a complete declaration. -- (talk) 15:42, 20 May 2014 (BST)

Hello Fae! I was going to create a new post, don't worry. I have posted the Q1 expenses at Expenses 2014-2015. The board are going to be discussing what level of expenses is appropriate - the policy as written needs more clarity. The general feeling is that expenses will be dealt with using a quarterly summary against named persons, split into appropriate groups of travel, accommodation, subsistence, per diems, etc. The board will be discussing this on 7 June but I don't want to pre-empt their decision. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 15:41, 21 May 2014 (BST)

I have changed the title back to be more accurate.

What was requested, and committed to, in the archived discussion was "When the total costs are published, could someone add a link here so that future volunteers can find it more easily?" The total costs as defined earlier in the same discussion were "the costs of sending 8 people to this conference", not just those that happen to have been trustees at the time. Again, this is not a request from me to any employee. If the WMUK treasurer wants to give a summary of these costs as a follow unpaid volunteer, that would be cool. -- (talk) 15:55, 21 May 2014 (BST)

I have changed the title back because the page covers more than the Wikimedia Conference (and using the same title as a previous thread it would have made the information more difficult to find once archived) and have added a link back to the Berlin discussion at the start of this section. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 16:50, 21 May 2014 (BST)
You may wish to think about an accurate title rather than simply reverting, the original point of this thread is not addressed by an update of Trustee Expenses, as that would only obscure what the actual total costs of sending attendees to the conference was, which would not be a benefit with regard to transparency and could not be considered a matter of privacy for any individual. It might be an idea to follow the BRD principle on the Engine room, it works well on the projects. -- (talk) 23:12, 21 May 2014 (BST)
Perhaps it would be best to avoid using 3LAs in public conversations without at the very least a link explaining that BRD means Bold Revert Discuss. People more familiar with say the conventions and discourse of Wikimedia Commons than that of Wikipedia may find that such jargon is not immediately accessible. So perhaps we should try not to exclude people where a few extra key strokes would makes things clearer ;-) Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 11:28, 22 May 2014 (BST)
Well, being the Engine room, I suspect that all likely readers of this will know it is 'bold' rather than 'block'. Being a supporter of plain English and mindful of international projects, I have designed wiki tools to help convert wiki acronyms to phrases, however the context matters with these things. -- (talk) 15:57, 22 May 2014 (BST)
Hi Fae. I'm sorry, I misunderstood your previous post and thought you were asking for trustee expenses. I'll see what I can pull up with regard to total cost of the conference and post it in a new section here. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 10:57, 22 May 2014 (BST)
Hello Fae: this is a quick reply to say that finding the total cost is proving more difficult than I first expected. I cannot easily distinguish spends from this event as I didn't plan to do so in advance, and as a result I would have to complete a line-by-line review of the purchase ledger for the month prior to and the month after the event to pull out the full costs. This would be several hours of work and it wouldn't be cost-effective. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 17:34, 30 May 2014 (BST)
Then an efficient way of replying to my request made five weeks ago, when there were commitments to report the total costs of (highly controversially amongst the international volunteer community) sending 8 people to the Wikimedia Conference 2014, would have been that "no, those costs are never going to be reported". It seems a great pity that so much volunteer and paid employee time was not saved by answering the original question with "no". -- (talk) 17:47, 30 May 2014 (BST)
Not wishing to put my hand too far into the hornets' nest, but perhaps it might be possible to come up with a rough estimate (presumably air fares and hotel bookings would be relatively easy to find, but I'm only guessing)? Harry Mitchell (talk) 21:50, 30 May 2014 (BST)
If I did, I could't guarantee any useful level of accuracy. Some people drove there, some flew, and not everyone flew from the same country IIRC - and some people took entirely different flight companies. Again, if I'm remembering it correctly, some of our staff were asked to stay an extra day to meet with the WMF and help work on metrics together, and the WMF reimbursed us for bits of that, but not all of it. It's very complex, and I don't want to give a figure that would be misleading. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 23:28, 30 May 2014 (BST)
I'm not sure I understand why it's so complicated. Isn't it just a matter of getting the amounts from the 8 claim forms, plus any flights and hotels that were paid for directly? That should be possible to do accurately, even if it's not 100% complete... Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 12:06, 31 May 2014 (BST)
Not really... I'd be looking at a list of transactions from two bank accounts spanning two months, and ALTO card transactions for five cards for the same period. There aren't necessarily eight claim forms either - there could be more than or fewer than eight. This is one of the reasons it's so complex - in addition to that, they're all mixed in with other transactions, and some of the claim forms are claims for more more than one event, and some are receipts in German, etc etc. Our system isn't designed to report on individual projects - it's designed to report on whole budgets. Drilling down lower than that is a lot of work. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 13:35, 31 May 2014 (BST)

I would like to propose to the board of trustees, and especially the treasurer, that the charity immediately changes its financial management system to one that can efficiently report expenses by date they were incurred and claimant, without requiring "several hours of work" for an employee. Can someone (not necessarily a paid employee) advise where that would best be proposed? Implementing such an improvement to standard reports by the charity in order to ensure transparency and openness, might be a good response to my email to wikimedia-l. In the case in hand, filtering expenses by 8 names for the conference period, and then finding any additional pre-booked travel in the month before for the same set of names, should take an employee minutes rather than hours; a system that cannot provide this is not fit for purpose.

For those of us that remember back to a time before the charity had employees, let alone the 17 we have now, expenses were entirely reported and managed by unpaid volunteers. It was not an efficient or effective system, but compared to the many hours it now takes to create a simple report of expenses against a major annual conference event, after 4 years of improvement and investment, the current system and processes are no more effective at producing the reports we need to ensure transparency, from the point of view of members who would like to be able to see meaningful and appropriate financial reports in a timely fashion.

Note: link added at Talk:Agenda_7Jun14, though unsure if notes from members are welcome on the agenda or will be ignored. -- (talk) 07:18, 1 June 2014 (BST)

There is no intention to hide the costs to the chapter of the Chapter's involvement in the Wikiconference in Berlin, but it is not a simple calculation. I hope the detail below re-assures those who are interested.

One person was asking for trustee expenses, others are asking how much we (WMUK) spent on the entire conference (including staff, volunteers, speakers, trustees etc). I hope to clarify this here.

So for trustee expenses: it is worth reminding ourselves that not all of the board went as trustees, as two (at least) were invited as speakers - reporting that as a trustee cost wouldn't be accurate so needs to be accounted for differently. As to staff – I attended as the Chief Executive, but the other two staff were also invited speakers. One of the staff had some costs paid by the Foundation.

As to the cost mine was probably on the low end, as I booked my flight early and always use public transport or bicycles, but from recollection (and I have to sign off all trustee expenses) the total cost to the chapter is close to £2600 but sometimes expenses come in very late and there could be a plane fare lurking somewhere. My expenses are here and give a good baseline.

The trustees are discussing how best to itemise expenses in a way that ensures an appropriate level of transparency at the board meeting this Saturday. It also needs to take into account the staff time involved in doing this which could be better spent supporting our programme.

I do not know why anyone would call the conference a 'junket', that needs a citation I'd think, but it was, as I have explained before in detail, a productive working three days at a reasonable cost to the chapter. If you think it was a junket then the whole conference could be judged a waste of money and the previous ones as well - and they aren't. The reality is that these are important working conferences where chapters and other organisations meet to discuss best practice.

I know that what I have written will not satisfy everyone but it is offered in good faith and the spirit of transparency we aspire to.

Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 12:35, 2 June 2014 (BST)

Thanks for your interim response here Jon. Three points:
  1. Nobody has mentioned a "junket" in this discussion. Please do not confuse parties writing here with those writing (or trolling) on wikimedia-l or wikipediocracy.
  2. The concerns raised were the value to Wikimedia of sending 8 people to this conference, which was 3 more than any other chapter, with the vast majority of chapters wisely limiting themselves to a maximum of 3 attendees. This is not the same as claiming the conference was a waste of money. Please do not exaggerate legitimate questions about the finances of the charity, in a way that makes them appear to be critical statements about other parties that they obviously are not.
  3. Transparency is a firm requirement for the charity, that is why we ensured it is explicitly in our mission when we created the charity. This makes it more than an aspiration for the Chief Executive, as the charity's performance must be measured on its delivery against this requirement.
-- (talk) 13:28, 2 June 2014 (BST)
For reference: Jon's message was also posted on mailing wikimedia-l list. In that context, the bit about 'junkets' was in response to Russavia's comment and it does not appear there was confusion, merely replying to two emails in one message. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 13:42, 2 June 2014 (BST)
Thanks for the link. Jon was replying to my proposal on 1 June with "If you think it was a junket". Any reader of this page would presume that his reply to my proposal was a reply to my proposal, further my point number 1 addresses this issue. -- (talk) 15:22, 2 June 2014 (BST)
Thanks for posting a rough figure, Jon, and for the explanation as to why it's not so easy to arrive at a precise figure. Personally, I find this useful—I'm not sure members and interested others gain any greater understanding by having a to-the-penny figure—but I do agree that it should be easier to track down a more precise figure for a given event or project. Hopefully the board will make some progress on this in their discussion at the weekend. Harry Mitchell (talk) 15:50, 2 June 2014 (BST)
It is not clear from the agenda for Saturday's meeting of the board of trustees that they will discuss the format for these expenses. I have raised a request that it is discussed at Talk:Agenda 7Jun14. @HJ Mitchell: I suggest you add your support to my request on the agenda talk page if you wish to see this actually discussed. My experience of getting answers to simple and direct questions to the board has been poor over the last few months, some never getting an answer. This could be because my questions are coming from "Fæ" rather than due to their content or validity. -- (talk) 11:02, 4 June 2014 (BST)

Non-renewal of our fundraiser agreement

Wikimedia UK regrets to have to announce to the community that the Wikimedia Foundation’s outgoing Executive Director, Sue Gardner, has given us formal notice of her decision under her mandate from the WMF board not to renew our fundraising agreement, thereby excluding us from this year’s fundraiser. Wikimedia UK has written an open letter to Sue regarding this decision, a copy of which can be found here. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 08:03, 21 May 2014 (BST)

For those wishing to copy parts of the text to use in discussion, I have created a wiki version of the letter. This can be found here. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 08:27, 21 May 2014 (BST)

I notice the questions contain the phrase "a year with a demanding target." Is there any reason to believe this year's target is more demanding than next year's? Or could the phrase be replaced by the simpler phrase "a year"? Yaris678 (talk) 22:30, 29 May 2014 (BST)
As an open letter, it is not easily revised. If Jon had wished to consult members, this would have happened in advance of publishing it, I doubt there is much value in highlighting phrasing issues. -- (talk) 08:45, 31 May 2014 (BST)
Yaris678 is criticising one of the questions set for us by Sue Gardner, not with WMUK's reply. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 12:33, 1 June 2014 (BST)
Thanks, I did misunderstand it. Personally, were I the Chief Executive, I would have taken Sue's question as an opportunity to explain, in non-defensive simple terms, why it would be best to minimize any delay in renewing the fund-raising agreement now that the UK Charity had met all the governance requirements that the Foundation had previously expressed an interest in. Put in terms of massive year on year losses to the Wikimedia movement, the answer does not appear "impossible" to answer based on my reading.
However, there seems little point in adding more here. My views on the strategic value of the charity's decision to publicly reply to Sue with this negative and apparently emotive letter just as she is leaving her position, have been made on Wikimedia-l (where the charity chose to announce it), which anyone can refer to. -- (talk) 14:00, 1 June 2014 (BST)

2014 Annual General Meeting

Ongoing preparations for this year's AGM can be found at 2014 Annual General Meeting and the linked pages for anyone who wants to follow or join in. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 12:37, 27 May 2014 (BST)

BBC article - Wikipedia and health

Article here and well judged comments from Stevie. Philafrenzy (talk) 00:51, 28 May 2014 (BST)

Thank you, Philafrenzy. For you, and others interested, the story also ran on the Mail, Telegraph and Independent. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 10:55, 28 May 2014 (BST)
But where do doctors get their information? That is the question. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/03/doctors-1-source-for-healthcare-information-wikipedia/284206/ Philafrenzy (talk) 11:00, 28 May 2014 (BST)
An interesting parallel! Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 10:40, 29 May 2014 (BST)
Makes you think about the responsibility we have taken on doesn't it? Not only are ordinary people using Wikipedia as their first source for medical information, but doctors are too (though they at least are able to evaluate its reliability). Good job most people don't know how the sausage is made. The idea that our activities carry no responsibility and no obligation and that nobody has to use Wikipedia, is clearly false. For many people there are no other sources of information. But I am giving a lecture now. Philafrenzy (talk) 11:44, 29 May 2014 (BST)
In many ways I agree with you. While as a chapter we don't control content of course, I'm really proud of some of the things we do that have a real and positive impact in terms of content improvement. John Byrne's residency with Cancer Research UK, for example, is a project that will help to improve the content on important articles relating to cancer and cancer treatment, with input from experts and access to the very latest research. Most people's lives are touched by cancer to some extent and those articles are important. I am looking forward to us developing high level and high profile partnerships that work in similar ways in future. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 12:29, 29 May 2014 (BST)

"Wikipedia, like any encyclopaedia, should not take the place of a qualified medical practitioner." (emphasis mine). Such a good line. That point is worth more than the research that the article is based on. 10 articles! Just 10 articles. And the analysis of each article seems scanty. No analysis of whether important information is missing. And a fact about best practice counted as incorrect, despite being in the NICE guidelines. Yaris678 (talk) 22:49, 29 May 2014 (BST)

While the message not to diagnose yourself using Wikipedia remains sound, an interview in Wikipedia Weekly here explains in detail some of the errors in the original research. Note particularly that the author is apparently an osteopath from the "soup university" (Campbell University) who invented a new method of research just for this paper. Philafrenzy (talk) 22:16, 31 May 2014 (BST)
Great interview. I've given the guy a barnstar. Yaris678 (talk) 15:22, 1 June 2014 (BST)

Affiliate-selected seats on the board of the Wikimedia Foundation - results

Following our notice last month on the Engine Room, the WMUK Board decided to vote for Alice Wiegand and Patricio Lorente in the election for the two affiliate-selected seats on the board of the Wikimedia Foundation. The result of the election has just been announced, and the two winning candidates were Frieda Brioschi and Patricio Lorente. Congratulations to both of them. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:21, 3 June 2014 (BST)

Q1 report card

A summary of how Wikimedia UK is doing against its KPIs now available. If you want more detail, there's a link at the top of the page to the charity's report to the FDC. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 17:05, 5 June 2014 (BST)

I wanted to give public thanks to all those who were involved in creating the report card - it's a great step forward for our reporting, and a good example of how we can meet the calls for us to report on KPIs and measure our impact. I look forward to seeing (and supporting) its development. Sjgknight (talk) 13:45, 6 June 2014 (BST)

Query regarding G1.2 quality of content

Could someone explain how the 6.5% value for "Percentage of WMUK-related files (e.g. images) in mainspace use on a Wikimedia project (excluding Commons)" was calculated? I estimate this as half that value simply using the GLAMourous report. -- (talk) 18:07, 5 June 2014 (BST)
Of course. It is explained here under 'Progress against these objectives'. Let me know if you need more information. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 18:17, 5 June 2014 (BST)
No, the calculation is not explained in the FDC report, only the result, which appears untrue.
Here's the logic - the figure claimed for Q1 is 37,715 images. The GLAMorous report today shows that 0.94% of images in 2014 are in use, this is a total number of images of 55,387. On the *best case* assumption that of all additional images, zero count towards the total, this would mean that a maximum of 1.38% (i.e. 0.94%*55387/37715) is possible, not 6.5%.
If these figures are reported incorrectly, then the Q2 report will be in danger of showing a catastrophic drop in the percentages to a level which would be impossible if Q1 figures were true.
-- (talk) 18:20, 5 June 2014 (BST)
Catscan v2 was used to produce a report of how many files were uploaded to Commons between 1 February and 30 April. Catscan also includes data on which files are in use. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 18:30, 5 June 2014 (BST)
Could you give a breakdown here, along with the links you used? It should be possible reproduce the figures. I have some experience with catscan and I uploaded most of these files both on Commons and the Welsh Wikipedia, so I am familiar with the outcomes. -- (talk) 18:38, 5 June 2014 (BST)
You learn something everyday. Catscan v2 does indeed report on file usage, just scroll across the screen and it is the column furthest on the right. Here is a link to Catscan v2. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 18:43, 5 June 2014 (BST)
Could you perhaps explain more clearly what you mean by "give a breakdown"? I suspect you don't want a list of all the files Catscan return reproduced here. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 18:44, 5 June 2014 (BST)
I will return to your question some time tomorrow. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 18:46, 5 June 2014 (BST)
By a breakdown, I mean a more detailed explanation of how 6.5% was calculated so that a volunteer or a member of the FDC can reproduce it for themselves. Presumably some of this was Commons, but it cannot mean the usage of the 37,715 files declared in the FDC report, as the usage of those is well below 2%.
A link to the catscan reports you used would be useful, against each resulting figure. The only relevant catscan report I can see in the FDC report is http://tools.wmflabs.org/catscan2/catscan2.php?language=cy&categories=Llwybrau+Byw&ns[6]=1&before=20140430235959&after=20140201000000&only_new=1&ext_image_data=1&file_usage_data=1&doit=1 which does not seem to give any usage information in the table, only the list of files uploaded by me.
Note that on cy.wp, Categori:Llwybrau Byw has been used, but more accurately the uploaded book covers are in Categori:Prosiect Llyfrau Gwales where there are slightly more images included.

Breaking this down again, the FDC Q1 report states:

Overall 6.5% (below our target of 13% average for the whole year, but see below), this breaks down into:

2.6% of files (980 individual files) uploaded to Commons this quarter are in use on Wikimedia projects excluding Commons.
The 2,891 files uploaded to the Welsh Wicipedia are part of a long-standing project to improve coverage of Welsh-language publications. Unfortunately, CatScan does not include file usage for the Welsh Wicipedia, though statistics for the overall project (last updated 11 April) show that 57.4% of the files are in use. Scaling this down to account for the files uploaded in Q1, this means about 1,660 of the files are used, a very impressive amount.
  • It is not clear how the "2.6%" of the 37,715 uploaded to Commons is calculated. There is no link in the FDC report to deduce this figure. GLAMorous would seem to be the best tool to show this, and as highlighted above it appears to indicate a lower figure.
  • The figure for cy.wp of 57.4% usage was a report generated by me which I am not currently maintaining.[9] It was not created using catscan or catscan2, which (as the FDC report states) does not include usage figures. I could probably amend my Faebot report to produce an accurate usage figure based on filtering dates from the File Version History using the API on cy.wp, but this Faebot generated table was designed for a bit of fun within the Llwybrau Byw project, and not designed to be used for FDC reporting.
  • Quoting a 6.5% "blended" figure includes cy.wp book cover usage where the images are fair use only, and are problematic. Firstly, as Robin and I have discussed in the past; cy.wp does not have a "mature" policy on Fair Use, however uploaded files should be on a time-limited basis unless they are in use in articles, consequently many unused files should be deleted at some point and then "100%" of uploaded files would be in usage - this would distort the usage metric as it would be changing the sample space for the metric after the event. Secondly the book cover images are only in use on cy.wp, it is unlikely that they will be used elsewhere and each file would need to be transferred to other projects; a *very* small percentage of covers are out of copyright or ineligible for copyright, however there are no current plans to upload these to Commons. I do not believe this fairly interprets the intention of G1.1 in the Q1 Report Card, it would be more accurate to keep the percentage use figures separate and report them as a tuple, or just stick to the figure from Commons reports and make a note of the success on cy.wp without distorting the more intuitive figure so that the FDC report is as straight-forward as possible.

-- (talk) 05:29, 6 June 2014 (BST)

Thank you for removing the postscript from your earlier post, it's tone was surprisingly defensive. It doesn't matter how long you've been using a tool, if you're using it a set way you're unlikely to explore it's potential. As such it's perhaps not surprising you're unfamiliar with Catscan's ability to report back on file usage, but I can assure you it is there just as I said. The column for file usage is quite clearly there in this query for example. It is worth noting that the function does seem to be restricted to files on Commons, which perhaps tripped you up.
The reason there is no link to the query in the FDC report is that took more than one run. Of course I would have liked to include a single link, however at the time the resources allocated to Catscan v2 meant that it could not perform queries that large, ie: tens of thousands of files. What I had to do was break the three-month period down into manageable chunks, run that query, and then collate the data in a spreadsheet. I am pleased to say that in future, it should be much easier thanks to the sterling work of Magnus Manske. Even as it stood before, it was a tremendously useful tool.
Here is the query. It returns a total of 37,688 files. The difference of 27 from the figure given in the FDC report is most likely due to the occasional double count in the course of collating the queries. That is down to human error on my part. Usage has now increased to 1,007 files (give or take one or two which may be in a non-article mainspace), but is close to the figure of 980. Catscan is admittedly a less popular tool than GLAMourous but its versatility leant itself to our needs, particular its ability to filter by date range.
It is a shame you are not maintaining the report linked on cy.wp, certainly Robin was under the impression you were when I talked to him about the Q1 report. However, the tools for reporting on file usage on specific wikis outside Commons is an area which appears under covered.
Excluding files on the Welsh Wicipedia from the report on overall usage because they "distort" the figures is a curious logical inconsistency. Perhaps therefore mass uploads should be excluded because usage falls below 1%? Certainly that would be unacceptable cherry picking, so the approach of cherry picking what files get included is not an acceptable approach. It is made clear in the FDC report that the 6.5% figures includes files on Commons and those on cy.wp. The argument that the files should be treated separately because they have a different licence may have more to it, however I think this is mitigated by the fact that we are open about how this figure is reached. As a middle ground I have added a note to the Q1 report card to prevent this kind of confusion in future. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:28, 6 June 2014 (BST)
From my point of view, as an unpaid volunteer for open knowledge who devotes a significant of my time in ensuring public domain media is preserved and accessible for the public benefit, I am disappointed that Wikimedia UK is significantly distorting its performance reports to the FDC, using material that is not freely reusable and has all rights reserved. The distortion actually trebles the figure reported to the FDC. My work on this was never supported by Wikimedia UK, nor any Wikimedia UK equipment, I acted as an independent volunteer doing a personal favour for Robin. The report does not meet the intention, nor the spirit of the mission or values we agreed and published as the basis of why we created this national charity.
For the time being, I will put a halt to my support of Robin's request for further uploads of book covers for cy.wp as I do not appreciate the outcome of my personal freely given volunteer effort being misreported in this way and would not want the Q2 report to be similarly distorted. I will review the situation with Robin, and may change my view depending on that discussion, or if the board of trustees is wise enough to come to realize that the current method of reporting "G1.2 The quality of Open Knowledge continues to improve" is misleading and inappropriate, leading to a significant distortion in the top level KPI figure by including media that is not reusable, nor free. The aim of G1 is "We will increase the quantity and quality of open knowledge on the Wikimedia projects and other freely licensed resources", the figure of 6.5% does not meet that aim.
Separately, I shall take time to review the numbers and the links you have referenced in order to understand whether these figures are accurate and why GLAMorous gives a completely different answer to the same question.
I have yet to review any of the other figures of the Q1 report to the FDC. -- (talk) 13:27, 6 June 2014 (BST)
Fae, your desire for the charity to report different KPIs, in different ways and with different definitions, is noted but these are the ones we have committed to publish and will be publishing quarterly from now on. If you spot any factual errors do please let us know. We are not aware of any, but having volunteers such as yourself who are able to commit the time to checking the KPI data can only be useful. Thank you. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 13:52, 6 June 2014 (BST)
All Rights Reserved does not equal freely licensed resources, this will be self-evident to all members of the charity and our donors. If at the board meeting tomorrow the trustees accept the Chief Executive's report of the performance of the charity without questioning this misrepresentation, you will be allowing the values the board has formally agreed to become meaningless in their implementation. At the board meeting you should reject this figure as inaccurate by not meeting the defined aim it purports to be measuring. -- (talk) 14:07, 6 June 2014 (BST)

Reply to query re: G1.2

Hi Fae The 6.5% figure you object to measures the “Percentage of WMUK-related files in mainspace use on a Wikimedia project”. It sits under our Strategic Goal 1.2 which reads “The quality of open knowledge continues to improve”.

This KPI does not count the number of images that have been uploaded, but rather the improvement in quality of open knowledge as a result of their use in articles. It is the articles themselves that are the ‘open knowledge’ here, and the quality of those articles is clearly being improved by the presence of images, fair use or not. Presumably your intent in uploading the images was precisely that they should be used in this way - to improve encyclopedia articles.

Now, as you indicate, fair use images are not in themselves considered to be open knowledge, and they are therefore not to be counted under the first KPI in the table, "Number of uploads", which sits under the goal G1.1 “The quantity of open knowledge continues to increase”. That is the reason that that KPI includes 37,715 images that were uploaded to Commons, but not the 2891 Welsh fair use images. To ensure that that distinction is quite clear to the reader I have deleted the wording “plus 2891 book covers uploaded to the Welsh Wicipedia” from the coloured Results column. Those uploads are in addition to the measured open knowledge images, and are correctly listed separately in the notes field. Sjgknight (talk) 18:20, 8 June 2014 (BST)

All Rights Reserved does not equal freely licensed resources, a term carefully included in the aim that governs the definition of the outcomes for G1. As you know, Fair Use images cannot be freely reused, they can not be used in the majority of Wikipedias or on Wikimedia Commons. The charity that we created should be sponsoring freely reusable images, and only counting those as achieving the mission.
Per the WMF Resolution, "the mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free content license" and "[Exceptions] must be minimal". The WMUK board of trustees is interpreting strategy in a way that is now not in compliance with this resolution; indeed the majority of the success of 6.5% being reported in the Q1 figures is for non-free content, a situation that I find bizarre and misleading, regardless of the small print in footnotes.
I guess there is no point in me explaining further, there seems firm determination to drive this through, regardless of the contradiction in values and the lack of any evidence of appropriate consultation and feedback from members on what this means for our future, as we are under this philosophy able to fund projects generating non-free content, through the rationale that an "Exemption Doctrine Policy", sometimes exists on some Wikimedia projects, for time-limited and non-reusable content - for example these images cannot be reused in the UK by anyone, as we have no equivalent to the US fair use copyright loophole. -- (talk) 19:21, 8 June 2014 (BST)
Your comment doesn't respond to the points in my reply. This is all the more confusing given you were the volunteer who very generously freely donated their volunteer time to enriching the encylopedia with these images. Sjgknight (talk) 19:43, 8 June 2014 (BST)
I uploaded fair use copies of book covers, only usable on the Welsh Wicipedia, for the reasons I explained previously on this page. I was not supported by Wikimedia UK and the images are not part of any Wikimedia UK funded project as far as I was aware, or am aware of now, as there were no employees, nor funding involved at any point and these were not part of the plan for the Living Paths project. My upload script was created in December 2013 and uploads completed in early February 2014, not being part of WMUK work that was later to be supported by a supplied Macmini. Had I known that the board of trustees would allow the Chief Executive to tactically count these as the majority of evidence to the FDC of operational performance against the goal of delivering media for open knowledge, I would have walked away rather than have my ethical stance and my freely given volunteer efforts compromised. I am very sorry indeed that the board of trustees finds this confusing, and prefers to defend an inappropriate top level key performance indicator based on non-free media. Sadly I have to take the precaution of not cooperating with uploading any further fair use material on cy.wp until I have assurance that the charity will cease using them in this way. -- (talk) 21:59, 8 June 2014 (BST)
Ok, I've replied to your points, your disagreement is noted. Thanks. Sjgknight (talk) 08:07, 9 June 2014 (BST)
Fae, the excellent work you did between December and February in improving the quality of open knowledge articles on the Welsh Wicipedia by uploading fair use images is much appreciated. Your decision not to contribute further is noted with regret. MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:40, 9 June 2014 (BST)
To avoid any misinterpretation, I said "Sadly I have to take the precaution of not cooperating with uploading any further fair use material on cy.wp until I have assurance that the charity will cease using them in this way." You need only provide this assurance and I will feel able to ethically work with Robin on finishing the uploads (which is actually the vast majority of images). The choice here, is clearly that of the board of trustees by allowing the Chief Executive to use performance statistics based on non-free images, that were never part of any Wikimedia UK project, despite a re-writing of history to make it appear so. I sincerely hope that my other volunteer work on Commons that is not part of Wikimedia UK projects does not start getting claimed as such. I am *completely* clear as to which is which, you need only look at my WMUK report which is kept up to date month by month. -- (talk) 09:57, 9 June 2014 (BST)
Our Wales Manager was involved, which was the WMUK connection. The conditional nature of your decision is understood, but as Simon had already explained clearly why the KPI reporting is correct (and his analysis has board backing) your decision has no doubt already gone into effect. If any assistance is needed with further tranches of book cover uploads we will have to find another volunteer. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 10:50, 9 June 2014 (BST)
I'm afraid the board of trustees appears to have been misinformed. This was never a project done in correspondence with Robin as an employee of Wikimedia UK, but Robin as a volunteer using his personal Avant Garde Software email address, not his WMUK address. I have emails on record with Katie discussing these uploads at the beginning of February 2014, it was perfectly clear at that time that *further* uploads might be declared as part of Faebot's future supported work but not existing uploads.
Unless Wikimedia UK is officially now advising all volunteers that employees and contractors for the charity must be assumed to be always acting in their employed capacity when volunteering on Wikimedia projects (which is opposite to a long history of statements by the Chief Executive and several trustees), then your Wales Manager had nothing to do with this, only Robin as my friend and fellow volunteer for the Welsh Wicipedia. -- (talk) 11:11, 9 June 2014 (BST)
Other staff were involved, as you know, and I repeat that we consider the KPI reporting to be quite correct as it stands. The issue will not arise for future reports given your decision not to upload any more fair use book covers. This conversation has become unproductive and I consider it now closed. Your disagreement is noted. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 12:59, 9 June 2014 (BST)
Er, checking my correspondence, no other staff were involved. As the only person that actually did all the planning and execution of the uploads, my email records are complete. These uploaded non-free files are not part of any Wikimedia UK project and the Q1 report is misrepresenting these facts to the FDC and providing a significantly distorted top level performance report. -- (talk) 13:11, 9 June 2014 (BST)
Different again; now you didn't discuss with Katie (or you did but not in a way that 'involved' WMUK). As I said, your disagreement is noted. I will not be prolonging this discussion. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 13:27, 9 June 2014 (BST)
No, not "different again", please assume good faith. My email with Katie was not in any way part of my uploads of these images, in fact the emails clarified that this was before any Wikimedia UK support of Faebot's work.
This matter has been raised on the FDC Q1 discussion page on meta. As you have confirmed that the board of Wikimedia UK is not prepared to discuss the facts with the unpaid volunteer who actually did the work, that seems the only way that any factual corrections would ever be made now. -- (talk) 13:43, 9 June 2014 (BST)

Highlighted for the Funds Dissemination Committee at meta:Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round1/WMUK/Progress_report_form/Q1. -- (talk) 16:49, 9 June 2014 (BST)

Note re: timeliness of publication

It should be noted that the Q1 report card was published on 5 June. The board meeting is tomorrow, 7 June. The board agreed with the Chief Executive that reports for a board meeting would be published at least seven days in advance, so that the board and interested members of the charity had the opportunity to review the board pack and raise questions in time for the board meeting. I would be surprised if all trustees are happy in being given two days to review top level reports from the Chief Executive, rather than the agreed minimum of a week. Why have the trustees accepted receiving late reports on this occasion, particularly the most important ones which are of interest to the FDC?
As an active volunteer, I cannot review the report card and its supporting evidence to ask sensible, or well researched, questions in time for the trustees to benefit from any issue raised. I doubt that many members of the charity will notice this report and review it in time to raise questions, I would not be surprised if my question about a single number were to be the only one raised today, being the last day before the board meeting. -- (talk) 14:17, 6 June 2014 (BST)
(ec) The report was made available to the trustees on 28 May. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:23, 6 June 2014 (BST)
The board meeting does not close community comments. Anyone can raise ask questions at any time. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 14:26, 6 June 2014 (BST)
I note that you do not disagree with the fact that "The board agreed with the Chief Executive that reports for a board meeting would be published at least seven days in advance". This has not happened.
The practicalities are that if any member of the charity raises a concern about a report going to the board meeting, they need to raise it today in order for it to be dealt with. If I raised my above question about 6.5% on Monday, after the board meeting, based on my experience with other questions (such as #Where can I find 2014 programmes as opposed to just budget? which has been waiting for nearly a month for the answer "it does not exist"), I have little doubt that I would be likely to be indefinitely ignored or given non-answers resulting in no corrections being made. By the board of trustees accepting these reports last week, yet allowing the Chief Executive to delay their publication on-wiki until just two days before the meeting, members and volunteers of the charity are actively being dis-empowered and disenfranchised by not being granted the privilege of a timely voice that might influence board decisions.

<personal attack removed by me. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 16:31, 6 June 2014 (BST) > -- (talk) 15:19, 6 June 2014 (BST)

Refactoring under discussion. -- (talk) 17:03, 6 June 2014 (BST)

Digital design work required

Hello everyone. Wikimedia UK has today uploaded a call for quotes to provide two pieces of digital design - a small website and some email templates. Quotes are welcome from all parties and should be provided by the end of 13 June 2014. You can see the brief here. For more information please email stevie.bentonatwikimedia.org.uk. Thank you. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 17:24, 6 June 2014 (BST)

I am not entirely convinced by the need for the extra website, if it reflects our way of working and values etc I suspect it could look much like the existing one but I think that discussion has been had. As for the professionally designed newsletters - at last! Not everything needs to be done in house just because people are willing to take it on. I hope this will pay for itself 10 times over in increased donations and volunteering. Philafrenzy (talk) 18:29, 6 June 2014 (BST)
Good point Philafrenzy. Was there a discussion with the community about creating a (presumably entirely employee controlled website) to serve as a front for the UK charity, thereby replacing this wiki for that function, which has always been open to active volunteer control and participation?
I recall a past discussion which can be found in the archives, where the majority of volunteers rejected this approach. -- (talk) 17:48, 8 June 2014 (BST)
The board considers that this approach is required to increase our reach and hence our charitable impact, particularly within the huge pool of potential new volunteers and supporters who are aligned with our aims but who are not already committed Wikimedians. This will be of particular importance in the coming months as the charity's website starts to receive increased visibility due to Wikimania. The charity wishes to avoid focusing exclusively on the relatively small Wikimedia activist communities and to reach out more widely to all who support our aims. The board is aware of your opposition and of the previous discussions on this topic. Nevertheless, we think it the right thing to do, for the reasons which are very well set out in the brief. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:42, 8 June 2014 (BST)
To be clear, I mentioned previous community discussion, not my viewpoint. Please do not marginalize community discussion as "your opposition", thanks.
Thank you for confirming that there has been no subsequent discussion with the community since this was last discussed, instead this is purely an initiative of the board. -- (talk) 18:48, 8 June 2014 (BST)
Thanks for the reply. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 19:36, 8 June 2014 (BST)
I hope my previously expressed concerns about this have also been taken into account. Having a separate website that isn't a wiki and excludes volunteers from being able to contribute it, without a clear technical reason for why that can't be the case, still seems like an incredibly bad idea to me. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 20:08, 8 June 2014 (BST)
Yes Mike, all expressed concerns have been taken into account. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 20:13, 8 June 2014 (BST)
What is the nature of this taking account? Is there a list somewhere of the expressed concerns and and what was concluded about each? e.g. "concern can be mitigated by..." or "This is highly unlikely to actually happen." or "This is an issue that we need to manage. If managed well, the negative effect will be more than outweighed by the positive effects of the website."
Yaris678 (talk) 15:50, 9 June 2014 (BST)
I don't think anyone has done anything quite that procedural, no. When this was discussed on wiki some were in favour and some some were against. The board has concluded that on balance it is the right thing to do, primarily for the reasons listed above. The approach is a common one and has already been adopted by quite a few chapters, including WMSE, WMCH, WMDE, WMNL and WMFR. We understand and respect the fact that some in the UK community have strongly-held differing views. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 16:33, 9 June 2014 (BST)
Hello Yaris, there's a few points worth noting here that I hope will help. The wiki is not going anywhere and will remain the primary resource. For those who wish to go straight to the wiki, there will be a simple option on their first visit to add a cookie which will take them to the wiki at every subsequent visit. This is a requirement of the brief. Each page of the website will directly link to the wiki, especially the volunteer, GLAM and education areas. The website will include portals for GLAM, education and volunteering as well as a home page and an about page. These pages will build on existing, community-driven content. This is not an abandonment of our values. Several other significant chapters, including many listed in the brief itself, have websites as well as wikis - this is very much bringing us in-line with the work of other chapters. It is not something new or something that is a departure from the work elsewhere in the movement. It is also a chance to make sure that stuff that is really important for those new to WIkimedia UK, and aren't Wikimedians, is highly accessible. Our wiki, like pretty much any Media Wiki installation I can think of, is not very accessible. We haven't really made any progress with this and it is extremely important that we do so, one way or another. I also want to clarify that existing Wikimedians are not the key audience for this. We want to have a space for newcomers, too. I'm confident this will help us actually grow our volunteer community. I hope this helps, and I'm happy to answer direct questions on my talk page if you would like me to, although here is obviously fine as well. Thank you. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 17:30, 9 June 2014 (BST)
I'm not massively against having a website, especially if done in the way described. I am just wary of statements like "all expressed concerns have been taken into account." Or was that some kind of in-joke between Michael and Mike?
I've had a look at WMDE and WMSE. WMDE seem to be using MediaWiki in a similar way to our current system. WMSE has a nice-looking non-MediaWiki website, but it doesn't look that different from WikiVoyage. I suppose the main difference is that it doesn't have the tabs at the top and the menu down the side. Is the aim to hide these to newcomers and present them only with things that they can "get" easily, so that we don't overwhelm them?
Yaris678 (talk) 08:15, 16 June 2014 (BST)

I quite like Wikimedia Sweden's site, and also WMCH's. Though I think they should have a clearer link to the Chapter's Wiki. But, I think a Chapter's site is essential to how it's viewed by external organisations and people. Something that is more evocative of our identity, location and work is important to this audience. Additionally, though Wikipedia is the flagship project, Wikimedia isn't just about MediaWiki, and will be increasingly less so as Wikidata grows.

I think it would be interesting to hear from WMDE on what they think about this. A different site is something they might have considered or might be considering, so it would be interesting to hear their views on this.--Stuart Prior (WMUK) (talk) 14:36, 16 June 2014 (BST)

Yes, opinions from other selected chapters would be useful input, and something to be carefully taken into account before making changes rather than afterwards. It remains unclear as to why the process for deciding on this change is no longer a suitable one to be that could ever be reached by consensus with volunteers. Past discussion was not encouraging, nor was general opinion from volunteers on Wikimediauk-l. Value 3 "Community" of Vision, values and mission suggests that our decision making processes should always be designed to put the volunteer at the centre of driving fundamental changes. When opinion is divided, I would expect reasonable consensus with volunteers to become more important to achieve, rather than a situation where the Chief Executive and the board of trustees are not successfully bringing significant proportions of volunteer opinions along with their plans.
As has been highlighted above, "all expressed concerns have been taken into account" appears dismissive and intended to firmly close down any potential discussion, rather than remaining cooperative and consultative in line with our values put in place to underpin the way the charity operates. -- (talk) 15:35, 16 June 2014 (BST)

I'm not sure that changing the website qualifies as a "fundamental" change as the mission and values of the charity remain the same. Also it would be in line with what many other chapters in our peer group (so to speak) have done, so hardly without precedent.

The aim as I see it is to present a non-Wikipedian friendly image to the public, and I think would neatly fulfil Value 2 "Accessibility and Quality" and encourage Value 5 "Diversity" by widening the appeal and accessibility of the charity.

I'm sure there's a compromise that will appeal to both the public and the existing community that will encourage that community to grow. Best --Stuart Prior (WMUK) (talk) 17:41, 17 June 2014 (BST)

Quite possibly there is a comfortable compromise, it would be nice to get to that position. As far as I know, there has been no non-subjective attempt to assess the opinions and issues of a significant number of users of this website, who do not identify as "existing community". It would be a useful input to help reach a community consensus. Unpaid active volunteers include members and non-members that rarely read or may never have edited on this site, for example readers of wikimediauk-l who have never created an account on this wiki, yet may be interested in the communications and strategy of the UK chapter. -- (talk) 17:59, 17 June 2014 (BST)

I'm somewhat worried that my emails to wikimediauk-l haven't been directly responded to. In particular, I was asking whether this is being done purely for aesthetic reasons (in which case it could still be done on-wiki), or if this is actually incorporating features that mediawiki can't support? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 15:43, 16 June 2014 (BST)

Just spotted this Mike - the simple answer would be that we want to do things that mediawiki won't allow. We tried very hard and you will see from the edit history that one leading wikimedian spent five days doing his best to make the site work. It was a real improvement but in terms of the functionality we want and the accessibility we need something better. We have held back from this longer than many chapters but the time has come to make our 'shop window' work better for the people we want to attract. As Stevie says the majority of the pages 2k+? will be just the same (although some volunteer spring cleaners would be much appreciated - we have far too many dead, incomplete or never really started pages), and of course there will be an 'opt around' possibility to go straight to the wiki website. Ultimate aim though is to make it look a whole lot better. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 09:17, 20 June 2014 (BST)
Hi Jon. Thanks for the reply, but I'm afraid it doesn't answer my questions. What functionality, specifically, are you thinking about here? As I said, if it's just design work rather than interactive features, then I'm sure it can be implemented on-wiki rather than requiring an off-wiki website. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:12, 23 June 2014 (BST)
I am not an expert but those that are were drew a blank with some of the things we want to do which is one of the reasons we are doing this. A couple I am aware of is creating a rolling picture carousel of random chosen images from a source of pics (in this case the collection of visitors to the office) and another is an easy way to embed videos. Have a look at the Swiss and Swedish sites and see what they have been able to do. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 08:26, 24 June 2014 (BST)
Those are interesting requirements, the first I've seen these written down. If there were requests asking about these requirements, perhaps someone could provide a link?
We can already embed videos neatly on a wiki page. Perhaps the requirement is to play it on first view? This should be achievable by a local tweak to the wiki introducing a parameter to allow it.
It should be possible to allow an open-source javascript plug-in to do a carousel, possibly by extending the gallery tag. There are pages on-wiki that show a different image every time you view them from a pre-selected album, and a couple of years ago I had a feature like this on my user page, relying on simple templates. Now we have lua available, it should be possible to do something more sophisticated, perhaps to the extent of a full carousel.
It would be worth asking volunteers to put together demonstrations of what can be done for free, or highlighting existing interesting on-wiki solutions, before doing similar stuff through commercial contracts, especially if there is no particular time-table for delivering these features. -- (talk) 10:03, 24 June 2014 (BST)
Our timetable at the moment is heavily dictated by the desire to have our website improved in time for Wikimania. We have approached the community, as I am sure people will remember, several times:

Request for help re: water cooler - https://wikimedia.org.uk/wiki/Engine_room/2014#The_Water_cooler_needs_to_look_prettier

Request for help re: engine room - https://wikimedia.org.uk/wiki/Engine_room/2014#The_Engine_room_needs_to_look_prettier

Where we suggested a website last year - https://wikimedia.org.uk/wiki/Water_cooler/2013#I_think_Wikimedia_UK_needs_a_website

Where we suggested adding buttons to make it easy to share content - https://wikimedia.org.uk/wiki/Water_cooler/2013#Facebook.2C_Twitter_and_Linked-In_buttons)

Good progress was made but like other chapters we came to the conclusion that the workarounds were very complicated, time intensive and would not allow the ease of editing that a modern website will allow. Wikis are really challenging for accessibility and do not offer the simple features and flexibility that a modern website offers.

The decision has now been made and we are working hard to get something in place before Wikimania that will show the chapter in the best light. The main pages will of course all remain and use MediaWiki so any suggestions for improving the 2,000 or so pages there would be appreciated. For instance we created a carousel that changes the image in each page load but we could not work out one that changes every few seconds which would be what we want. It defeated one of our best volunteer editors. I will hold my thoughts for now until we have something in place. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 11:08, 25 June 2014 (BST)


Briefly looking through Reports 7Jun14, I am surprised to see some of the documents listed that are being kept secret to board members and employees. Unfortunately I can only see the titles. Could the following have explanations added as to why it is critical that they are kept as secret documents? My assumption is that the trustees are taking care to ensure the number of non-transparent reports, documents and plans are kept to an absolute minimum, such as for serious legal reasons or personal privacy matters.

  1. Draft annual report 2013-14 (confidential) - unless I am misunderstanding what this is, I believe the basics of the draft annual report was public in past years and volunteers could help correct and prepare it.
  2. Audit and Risk Committee minutes - there was a previous commitment by the ARC to publish minutes on the public wiki.
  3. Wikimania budget (confidential) - Wikimania 2014 should be run as an open book project, rather than with secret budgeting restricted to the UK Chapter. It is run on behalf of the global movement and should have the collaborative support of other organizations which means keeping plans and preparations as open and transparent as possible.
  4. Memorandum of Understanding for accepting a Gift in Kind (draft) - a draft generic MOU would be based on best practice, and should have nothing confidential in it.
  5. State of Wikimedia UK, June 2014

Thanks -- (talk) 12:05, 11 June 2014 (BST)

Strangely enough that very question is scheduled for discussion at a meeting tomorrow. I will report the outcome here. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 16:53, 11 June 2014 (BST)

OK, now have some answers:
1. Draft annual report 2013-14 - this actually refers to the formal Annual Report and Financial Statements that the charity has to lodge as an annual return with the Charity Commission. That becomes a public document once it has been shared with our members and been lodged with the Charity Commission. You'll be able to see it then.
1a. There is as I am sure you know a separate non-statutory Annual Review that is published both online and in the form of a brochure that can be handed out at the AGM. That document includes all the legal stuff and in addition has an overview of the charity's work during the last 12 months. As in previous years, an early draft version of the Annual Review will be made available to members and volunteers to ensure good community input. That is likely to be in a week or so when the draft initial layout comes back from the designer and we are ready to start work on the content.
2. Audit and Risk Committee minutes - the ARC is actively checking the minutes now and they will be published shortly, probably in full but the committee chair just needs to confirm that.
3. Wikimania budget - will be published within the next 24 hours.
4. Memorandum of Understanding for accepting a Gift in Kind (draft) - this is a specific legal agreement with a specific organisation that is under active negotiation and is correctly held in confidence. If a draft generic MOU comes out of it, that will be published as a draft for discussion and as a potential guide to best practice.
5. State of Wikimedia UK, June 2014 - this document included some confidential matters that were presented to the board. Those matters are being redacted and the document will be published within the next 24 hours.
I understand that it's not always easy, or indeed possible, to work out solely from the title of a document exactly why it is listed as confidential. From the next board meeting we will be publishing our reasons for confidentially alongside the title of each document that we are not able to make available publicly. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:37, 12 June 2014 (BST)
3. Done. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 17:56, 12 June 2014 (BST)
MichaelMaggs Thanks for the prompt response. Since Mike Peel left the board, who always acted as our conscience when it came to minimizing use of in-camera reports, he was certainly mine, it is good to have the impression that there are current trustees who take this as seriously. I look forward to better annotation against in-camera documents, this will be a worthwhile improvement. -- (talk) 23:05, 12 June 2014 (BST)

The ARC minutes, 'State of Wikimedia UK', and Wikimania budget are all now public. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 13:48, 13 June 2014 (BST)

Removal of sysop rights

Could someone re-add my sysop rights? Thanks -- (talk) 15:05, 13 June 2014 (BST)

I am afraid that community admin rights on the charity's websites are restricted to members of the charity only. MichaelMaggs (talk) 15:24, 13 June 2014 (BST)
Firstly that is not actually true, as you can judge if you look at the current list of admins, secondly I already renewed my membership of the charity before my sysop rights were removed. Could someone provide a link to where it was agreed that all admins had to be active members of the charity? Thanks -- (talk) 15:27, 13 June 2014 (BST)
Your application for membership has yet to be considered. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:30, 13 June 2014 (BST)
It would be quite hard to explain why the current Chief Executive would not let a previous Chairman of the charity pay for membership, and be denied a voice in the coming elections, while active Wikipediocracy "hasten teh day" lobbyists were given no barriers to membership. My question to MichaelMaggs remains, where was this agreed? As someone who was part of agreeing the early definitions of what the role of administrators should be on this wiki, I would have thought I would remember it.
In the meantime, while folks consider the nature of bureaucracy, please restore my sysop rights which I have used effectively on this wiki for a good many years, indeed long before most of the current members of the board considered becoming members of the charity. Good faith should apply to me and hopefully some good will, even if I have raised difficult issues about the charity and its performance, most of which have in the long term been supported by published facts and unfolding events. -- (talk) 15:35, 13 June 2014 (BST)
Under our rules we cannot allow anyone who is not a member, contractor or member of staff to have sysop rights. Our membership rules are generous allowing members six months in which to renew. The board will be considering your application for membership and until that happens nothing more can be done. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk)
Please provide a link to where it was agreed that non-members could not retain sysop rights. Perhaps someone could identify all current administrators that are not current paid up members too? -- (talk) 17:13, 13 June 2014 (BST)
(Comment/reply below. Mike Peel (talk) 15:41, 16 June 2014 (BST))

Here's the time-line from my point of view:

  1. On 9 June I raise a public whistle-blowing complaint as an alert to the Funds Dissemination Committee with regard to the Chief Executive's report misrepresenting figures, after having exhausted local discussion on the UK wiki.[10]
  2. On 10 June I get an unexpected note against WMUK supported Commons project that a condition of funding was to publish relevant source code. An hour later I provide a link to where source code had been published in April.[11]
  3. At 16:43 on 13 June, I got a reminder about my membership with a warning list about what might happen should I not renew. I was visiting Cancer Research UK in the afternoon to advise on a forthcoming image project for Commons, and stayed out late for dinner with Johnbod, discussing issues related to his Wikimedian in Residence as funded by the UK Chapter, so did not notice it until after 10pm.
  4. On 14 June @08:21 (today), based on yesterday's prompt, I paid my membership.
  5. At 13:09 my sysop rights on the UK Wiki were removed.
  6. At 15:46 my payment was rejected by the UK Charity, according to Paypal, with no courtesy correspondence from the UK Charity.
  7. At 16:45 in follow up to my previous advice to The Royal Society, I receive an email with information that will help me to support their on-going image releases under the UK funded project there.
Please refer to timeline below. -- (talk) 21:43, 13 June 2014 (BST)
In what way is this a normal process? Do all members get handled like this? By the way, my understanding is that the Chief Executive has responsibility and authority for membership, only reporting to the trustees, this was changed by the board of trustees some time ago, in fact the change happened while I was still a trustee so I recall it fairly well. I'm surprised to see the Chief Executive is claiming the trustees need to make this decision when as far as I can tell, this was officially delegated. -- (talk) 16:47, 13 June 2014 (BST)
The charity does not publicly discuss any application made by an individual for admission as a company member, and will not be doing so in this case. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:14, 13 June 2014 (BST)
I think the charity can discuss my application with me, it has not.
It would be entirely appropriate for my general questions about Chief Executive delegation and process to have public answers with links to the relevant agreed policies or process. -- (talk) 17:17, 13 June 2014 (BST)

I don't want to get into an unproductive and long discussion but in defence of the staff and our systems you may have forgotten that like all members who had forgotten to renew you were reminded on quite a few occasions, on newsletters for example, and most recently on 14 May, 14:49 when you were emailed about expired membership, on 21st May, at 10:30 sent a reminder about the previous email, on the 21st May, 12:43 you acknowledged receipt and stated the first email had ended up in spam. The rules for admins are here https://wikimedia.org.uk/wiki/Permissions_Policy Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 17:35, 13 June 2014 (BST)

Why would you ask someone to rejoin by sending out reminder e-mails if you do not want them to rejoin. Just accept Fae's payment, restore his sysop permissions and stop being awkward. 21:13, 13 June 2014 (BST)
  • Can you guys please publish the email that Richard sent to Fae on 12 June. Let's put the entire thing in context shall we. Russavia (talk) 17:59, 13 June 2014 (BST)

I made some minor amendments to the timeline above. As these have all been reverted, sadly without checking with me so that I could sort this out myself and avoid pointless escalation. Instead I'll repost the timeline again here, so there can be absolutely no confusion. Please ignore the above timeline as irrelevant, and consider this one my intended statement: Here's the time-line from my point of view:

  1. Monday 9 June, I raise a public whistle-blowing complaint as an alert to the Funds Dissemination Committee with regard to the Chief Executive's report, after having exhausted local discussion on the UK wiki.[12]
  2. Tuesday 10 June, I get an unexpected note against my WMUK supported Commons project that a condition of funding was to publish relevant source code. An hour later I provide a link to where source code had been published in April.[13]
  3. Thursday 12 June, at 16:43 I get a reminder about my membership with a warning list about what might happen should I not renew. I was visiting Cancer Research UK in the afternoon to advise on a forthcoming image project for Commons, and stayed out late for dinner with Johnbod, discussing issues related to his Wikimedian in Residence as funded by the UK Chapter, so did not notice it until after 10pm.
  4. Friday 13 June, at 08:21 (today), based on yesterday's prompt, I paid my membership.
  5. —At 12:00 I refresh a batch upload in response to email correspondence, now hitting 15,000 images to Commons as part of a special collaboration with Andy Mabbett, shortly to be the subject of a post on the UK blog. All are marked as supported by the Chapter.[14]
  6. —At 13:09 my sysop rights on the UK Wiki were removed.
  7. —At 15:46 my payment was rejected by the UK Charity, according to Paypal, with no courtesy correspondence from the UK Charity.
  8. —At 16:45 in follow up to my previous advice to The Royal Society, I receive an email with information that will help me to support their on-going image releases under the UK funded project there.

-- (talk) 21:43, 13 June 2014 (BST)

  • For the reasons for this please refer to User talk:Fæ#Retrospective 'improvement' of your posts. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 21:48, 13 June 2014 (BST)
  • The change seems to have been made by Michael Maggs at [15]. It's not clear whether that document has been re-approved by the board, or whether it's a change made by Michael alone. I find the change a bit puzzling - given that the strategic goals of WMUK were focused on 'volunteers' rather that 'members', I don't understand why things have gone the opposite way in this case. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 16:07, 15 June 2014 (BST) (Comment moved from above to avoid it being lost in the recent vandalism. Mike Peel (talk) 15:41, 16 June 2014 (BST))

Login errors - clarifying text needed

Can we get some text added to the log-in page, telling people that their Wikipedia/ sister project login will not work here, and that a new account is required (but can use the same user name)? Twice recently, people have contacted me, asking why they can't log on, as a result of that issue. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 12:45, 14 June 2014 (BST)

+1 I've had similar contacts from experienced editors who automatically presume SUL will work. -- (talk) 13:28, 14 June 2014 (BST)
I will ask Richard Nevell (WMUK) to look into this. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 11:45, 19 June 2014 (BST)
Having looked into it, I couldn't work out how to change it myself so have filed a bug for our tech contractors to look at. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 16:17, 19 June 2014 (BST)

The Facebook-style log in page isn't customisable, but our developers have managed a work around by linking to a short explanation through "Help with logging in". Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 12:49, 25 June 2014 (BST)

In camera resolutions of the board

In line with our transparency commitments, we now have a page where we set out such information as we are able to release about resolutions that have been made in camera: In camera resolutions of the board.

This follows the resolution at the March 2014 board meeting stating that "Board resolutions between meetings are dealt with by means of an on-wiki vote. Unless there is a need for confidentiality, such votes will take place on WMUK's public wiki. Where a confidential vote is required, a record of the vote will be made public to the extent possible". --MichaelMaggs (talk) 11:31, 19 June 2014 (BST)

Our commitment to transparency

Please have a look at our new transparency page which represents a start at setting out some specific commitments in this area. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 16:22, 19 June 2014 (BST)

Latest draft of annual review for comments

Hello everyone. I've been working on our 2013-14 annual review booklet which we will be giving to visitors to Wikimania. It still needs some images but it is taking shape now. If you like to take a look, it's here. All sensible and constructive comments welcome. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 10:15, 27 June 2014 (BST)

Stevie - It looks really good. love the front cover! Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 10:35, 27 June 2014 (BST)
On page 7 and on page 20 (twice) the word "licences" as a noun is incorrectly spelled the American way: "licenses". I expect you're aware of the placeholder link that will need replacing on page 9, the caption on page 14 and the pull quote on page 17. On page 18 Jimmy Wales is listed as "pictured" when he is not (unless he is one of the Globe Kittens...). The standard WMF trademark disclaimer still needs to be added to the back page, as the roundel above uses WMF trademarks. Hope that helps. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 10:53, 27 June 2014 (BST)
On the back page, we still have "The image on the front cover shows the .... Salisbury Cathedral". The missing words are probably 'nave of'. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 11:11, 27 June 2014 (BST)
The back cover family logo images need to be updated to include Wikidata & Wikivoyage. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 11:14, 27 June 2014 (BST)
Thanks for all comments so far, much appreciated. These will certainly be dealt with at the proofing stage and I will definitely refer back here - most helpful! Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 11:16, 27 June 2014 (BST)
Hello again, I now have an updated version with the images included. I do still need to make the changes suggested above, and add the statistics page, but it's almost there. Would love useful and constructive comments. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 17:46, 30 June 2014 (BST)

Latest version

Hello again. I've just uploaded the latest version of the annual review. It's here. Please do feel free to comment by the end of Wednesday. There are some required amends I have noted: P4 - need to rewrite the end of column 1. P7 - remove stray (see below) and correct spelling of licences. P9 - remove one of "created developed". Correct "also a focused on". P11 - correct "you can see a selection". P13 - fix stray capitalisation. P14 - fix stray capitalisation. P16 - fix stray capitalisation and duplication of "project" in para 3. P17 - fix stray caps and image caption. P18 - fix stray full stop in col 3. P20 - fix two spellings of licences and add standard WMF disclaimer. Thank you Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 15:33, 8 July 2014 (BST)

Matters reserved for the Board

As recommended by our governance reviewers, we have today published a list of Matters reserved for the Board. This is an explanatory and informational document which is intended to be read in conjunction with the Scheme of Delegation, the formal document of April 2013 which continues to define the responsibilities that have been placed on the Chief Executive by the board. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 10:13, 3 July 2014 (BST)

Moving pages on this wiki

I noticed the page-move vandalism on this wiki earlier today and an increase in vandalism in general since the migration of this wiki away from the WMF wiki family (which was done for reasons I still don't fully understand, and I'm extremely sceptical as to whether it was worth the increased hassle), but since page moves don't need to be done that frequently and are rarely urgent, should the function be restricted to administrators?

I would also suggest to the board that, since we no longer have the benefit of assistance from the small wiki monitoring team and stewards (some of whom are often awake while most of the UK is asleep), it takes a more liberal approach to the granting of admin rights on this wiki (and that some effort is put into recruiting volunteers to look after the wiki). Harry Mitchell (talk) 00:18, 7 July 2014 (BST)

This makes a lot of sense to me - although it would be better to restrict page moves to [auto]confirmed users instead of just admins. I've echo'd the suggestion on the technology mailing list, since RecentChanges is rather busy at the moment: [16]. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 18:38, 7 July 2014 (BST)
According to Special:ListGroupRights the page move function is now restricted to administrators. I don't have any great objections to this, as pages don't need to be moved that often, though I don't think it was even restricted to autoconfirmed users before, so as Mike says, trying this first might be better.
I also agree with taking a more liberal approach on giving out the admin tools, and I would be happy to see it given to any member of the chapter in good standing, since staff probably have better things to be doing than dealing with vandalism and spam. I'll put my hand up as someone interested – I regularly check recent changes, sometimes at odd hours of the day. I've got the tools already on the Wikimania 2014 wiki to help keep spam and vandalism at bay and I'm happy to offer my services here too. CT Cooper · talk 18:45, 7 July 2014 (BST)
Thanks for volunteering. You are now an admin! --MichaelMaggs (talk) 19:02, 7 July 2014 (BST)
ps If any other trusted members would like to help out, please see Permissions Policy.--MichaelMaggs (talk) 19:02, 7 July 2014 (BST)
Thank you. CT Cooper · talk 20:15, 7 July 2014 (BST)
"Move pages (move)" is also listed as a right that 'users' have... Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 18:47, 7 July 2014 (BST)
Indeed it is. My mistake. CT Cooper · talk 20:15, 7 July 2014 (BST)
Yup - it is still a right of the "users" group. It ought to be editable in LocalSettings.php, according to the Mediawiki manual, but I can't see that page (no doubt for good reason!).
AbuseFilter looks helpful but is a little too technical for me to be able to us it. The Land (talk) 19:49, 7 July 2014 (BST)
Same with me. I can do range blocks if needed, but I've never gotten to grips with the abuse filter. CT Cooper · talk 20:15, 7 July 2014 (BST)
Emmanuel has reported that the abuse filter extension has been installed. Jon Davies has asked for page moves be restricted to admins, in the meanwhile the high profile pages on this wiki have been fully move protected individually.
There are no "confirmed" or "auto confirmed" user groups on this wiki so there is no permission level between user and administrator. Personally therefore I think restricting moves to admins makes sense in that context. The priv can be extended to a trusted user group if desired at a later date if one is created (a separate discussion I feel). Chris McKenna (WMUK) (talk) 18:53, 7 July 2014 (BST)
Yeah, in the longterm a user group with the ability to move page, the autopatrol flag and anything else useful would be nice. CT Cooper · talk 21:06, 7 July 2014 (BST)
I've just made an editfilter to tag edits from new users who dramatically reduce a pagesize or blank it. Sadly the filter won't save, so I've filed a bug (282). Once we get the editfilter working, we can have precisely defined checks on vandalism by adapting what's available already on en-wp or by writing our own. --RexxS (talk) 21:23, 7 July 2014 (BST)

It looks like unregistered users can create pages on this wiki too. It might be helpful if this was restricted to registered accounts, though I do recognize that much of the recent spam/vandalism has come from registered users anyway. CT Cooper · talk 20:55, 8 July 2014 (BST)

Abuse Filter

The abuse filter is now up and running. Special:AbuseFilter is the start point. The AbuseLog will keep track of all actions caught by the filters.

I've created a filter (New user blanking pages) that should flag edits that are:

  1. not made by an admin;
  2. reduce the page size from over 500 bytes to less than 50 bytes;
  3. made by a user with less than 10 edits
  4. made by a user who has not edited the page before.

All of those have to be true to trigger the filter, but it's easy to modify that behaviour. At present it just tags the edit, but it could be changed to forbid the edit, block the editor, etc. as required.

Creating an edit filter is not difficult and I'm happy to implement requests - or show you how to make your own filter. Perhaps we need a central place to discuss what is needed and what sorts of actions are acceptable? Thoughts, comments, requests are welcome. --RexxS (talk) 19:06, 13 August 2014 (BST)

Thank you RexxS, that should be useful. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:09, 15 August 2014 (BST)

Naming of pages in dated series

As can be seen from Category:Meeting agendas, we used to name pages logically, like Meetings/2009-03-02/Agenda. This meant that they sorted chronologically, and could be easily found using the wiki search feature's autocomplete (someone could, for example, type "Meetings/2009-03" without needing to know the exact date was the 2nd).

More recently, formats like Agenda 29Jun10 have been used; this is far less useful.

I'd like us to resume using the former pattern, and to move the existing pages with the latter type of name, if there is no objection. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 12:33, 8 July 2014 (BST)

Full support from me for that. Chris McKenna (WMUK) (talk) 12:40, 8 July 2014 (BST)
Sounds sensible to me, I've wondered why that format is used too. Perhaps there was a reason for the shift? Sjgknight (talk) 12:41, 8 July 2014 (BST)
The newer form is more human-readable, in my view.... The Land (talk) 13:24, 8 July 2014 (BST)
It's also easier to link to... Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 13:29, 8 July 2014 (BST)
How so? And even if it is, that can be dealt with by redirects. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 13:55, 8 July 2014 (BST)
I don't find "29Jun10" particularly human readable. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 13:55, 8 July 2014 (BST)
I'm with Andy on this - "29Jun10" is less readable to me than "2010-06-29" and redirects (which are generally underused on this wiki) are the perfect solution to linking issues. Chris McKenna (WMUK) (talk) 14:37, 8 July 2014 (BST)
I also prefer ISO 8601 dating, it's more logical for use of sub-pages and is easily readable, though I know not everyone is used to it. CT Cooper · talk 20:58, 8 July 2014 (BST)
The common use in the UK is to refer to dates as Day / Month / Year, at least when they are intended to be read by the general public. ISO 8601 is a wonderful thing for databases but is rather less familiar to people who aren't used to them. So I think the current version is significantly more usable. The Land (talk) 19:59, 10 July 2014 (BST)
If readability for the general public is the primary concern then I see no reason why the date can't written in full i.e. "29 June 2010". CT Cooper · talk 21:27, 10 July 2014 (BST)
I think the point re: changing is readability is moot if you can't find the page, the 2009-03 format makes it easier to get an overview of (and find individual) meetings from 2009, and isn't that odd to read. Sjgknight (talk) 21:34, 10 July 2014 (BST)
I've always preferred the YYYY-MM-DD format for use in page titles as it allows Ajax to suggest autocompletions and aids manual searching - even more so if you're looking at a category with lots of pages. As an example, when I created the page for the first meeting of the Audit & Risk Committee, I named it Audit and Risk Committee/Meeting 2013-04-29. Since then, a different scheme has been used, so that perusing Category:Audit and Risk Committee gives the September 2014 meeting before the May and January ones. Using 2014-01-14; 2014-05-21; 2014-09-01 would arrange them in chronological order and ensure that 2013 comes before 2014, before 2015, etc. It's not a big deal when there's only a few pages, but soon gets annoying when the category becomes larger. --RexxS (talk) 22:09, 10 July 2014 (BST)
I also personally prefer the 2014-05-21 naming convention. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 23:07, 10 July 2014 (BST)
To be clear my position on this is that ISO 8601 (YYYY-MM-DD) is best, with the longhand dates (e.g. 29 June 2010) being either used in re-directs or as an alternative if ISO 8601 isn't wanted. The current format of "29Jun10" seems to be the worst of both worlds. CT Cooper · talk 23:18, 10 July 2014 (BST)
It looks like we should use ISO 8601, possibly with redirects from "normal" dates.. I'll ping Richard Nevell (WMUK) and if he agrees (he organises this sort of thing) we'll go with that. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 11:06, 11 July 2014 (BST)
I don't mind especially either way. Each style has its merits and drawbacks. Whatever is decided, consistency would be preferable so some pages will need moving. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 13:19, 11 July 2014 (BST)
ISO 8601 with redirects it is. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 14:39, 11 July 2014 (BST)
@Jonathan Cardy (WMUK): sorry Jonathan, idly looking at recent changes and moved what I thought was a mistaken ISO 8601 without dashes, I now see that is the historic format for the GLAM committee (apologies, obviously feel free to revert me!) - just to note here that clearly there are really a number of different formats being used...will changing require a manual edit to all? Sjgknight (talk) 16:46, 23 July 2014 (BST)

Is there a volunteer willing to do all the redirects. I don't really want to see staff time wasted on this bicycle shed kinda stuff? Seddon (talk) 16:45, 23 July 2014 (BST)

I imagine that creating standard format redirects to pages in a different standard format would be a trivial task for a bot. I'm not a bot operator/programmer though. Chris McKenna (WMUK) (talk) 20:55, 23 July 2014 (BST)

Update: I have added this to the volunteer jobs page at volunteer jobs#Automated renaming of pages in dated series. Yaris678 (talk) 18:25, 23 September 2014 (BST)

Train the trainers - how can we make it perfect?

First of all many thanks to those of you who gave up your Saturday for the Train the Trainers refresher session recently. I am awaiting the feedback analysis from Midas and will share it but the comments we have had so far was really positive. As the programme develops it is clear that we need to make sure that you are all supported and that the experience for those you train is as good as possible.

So to the point. While most of the trainee feedback has been positive there have been a few event attendees who have felt that we could have done better:

   'The woman sitting next to me did not know how to sign her name by the end of the session'
   'Why were there no proper handouts, no outcomes, no checking whether or not people were following'
   'I felt there should have been a lesson plan for the sessions that could have been adapted'
   'He questioned the point of belonging to WMUK' from someone who wanted to join :(

These could just be small isolated instances but I thought it important to listen to your thoughts. Daria, Katie and I have discussed this, and think it would be useful to know if there are things we can do to support you and whether there are resources that are being neglected or need to be created.

I have set up a discussion page.


Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:08, 15 July 2014 (BST)

I don't know what to make of this.
Firstly, presumably, the feedback copied above is feedback at sessions that trained trainers have run, not feedback on the refresher. This isn't made entirely clear.
Secondly, if it is feedback on sessions run by trained trainers, I don't really know what we can do with this information, without knowing which specific sessions each point relates to. I guess it serves as a useful reminder of what can go wrong.... but that's about it.
Presumably, following the analysis by Midas, individuals will be contacted to discuss feedback specific to the sessions they were involved in. That will be much more useful.
Yaris678 (talk) 14:48, 15 July 2014 (BST)
Yes theses were from sessions where we had trainers present. A very small sample of what are generally pleased people but pose some useful questions and I hope you will share your ideas on the discussion page - some good stuff there already. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 14:51, 15 July 2014 (BST)
The first question these quotes pose to me is "which session do they come from?" But I think we have clarified the situation now. What you are actually after is answers to the questions on the linked page. I think the questions there provide sufficient prompt. Yaris678 (talk) 06:34, 16 July 2014 (BST)

Voting at the AGM

Yesterday a number of concerns were raised about expired membership and voting at the AGM. Evidently this year a number of people’s memberships have expired without their realising. We adopted a new procedure this year on AGM voting in response to concerns about security, and sent out voting forms in the post. It was obviously not clear to everyone that they needed the form posted to them in order to vote.

After Wikimania I’ll start a discussion on the wiki about whether we should continue to post voting forms in future years – unless anyone else wants to start it sooner. As far as voting at this year’s AGM is concerned the Board has asked me to say the following:

  1. If you are a member and for any reason have not received/forgotten to bring your voting paper, you can ask for a new voting paper shortly before the AGM. Papers will be available for any member who needs them. There will be a check to confirm that your membership is current.
  2. As in previous years, it will be possible for applications for membership to be considered in advance of the AGM, and for the Board to have oversight when it holds a meeting just before the AGM. If you have come to Wikimania believing that you are a member and just discovered that you aren’t any more, and you want to rejoin and vote: you can apply to rejoin up to noon tomorrow using the online form at https://donate.wikimedia.org.uk/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=4

If you are readmitted you will be given voting papers and may vote. Apologies for any difficulty caused this year. I hope this answers the concerns raised.


Alastair McCapra WMUK Secretary

Sjgknight (talk) 10:30, 8 August 2014 (BST) (adding on behalf of Alastair)


Is anyone in the office aware of this: http://www.wiki-media.co.uk ? Philafrenzy (talk) 22:00, 10 August 2014 (BST)

Reported to WMF legal. Thanks for spotting this. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 07:38, 11 August 2014 (BST)

Train the Trainers November 2014

Is there any reason that the event page for the train the trainers event in November is in the donate domain rather than on this wiki? Yaris678 (talk) 09:08, 26 August 2014 (BST)

Good morning Yaris, I hope you had a good bank holiday weekend. The donate domain ties directly into CiviCRM, the database we use to organise and curate our events. It helps with sending reminders, for instance, and makes contact with people who've registered a bit easier as we can email them. People might not check this wiki regularly. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 09:42, 26 August 2014 (BST)
People meaning WMUK staff? I never check the donate domain but often check this one. Yaris678 (talk) 10:38, 26 August 2014 (BST)
On the contrary, staff check the wiki frequently. But I think it's fair to say that not everyone will. If for example someone receives a watchlist notice about the event and comes to our wiki, as it's not something they usually do they might not check back that often. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:58, 26 August 2014 (BST)

Looks like we are having a page in this domain too... Training the Trainers/November 2014 event... Yaris678 (talk) 08:35, 29 August 2014 (BST)

Training the Trainers/November 2014 event was only created because I needed a page on the wiki to interwiki links to from English Wikipedia & Wikimedia Commons watchlist notice. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 10:58, 29 August 2014 (BST)
I think it's a good idea to have at least a page on this wiki as well as part of normal practice. This wiki and its categories are the logical place to look for some of us for details of any event WMUK is involved in. Cheers, MartinPoulter (talk) 20:50, 29 August 2014 (BST)

Business cards for volunteers

After much discussion we are experimenting with the issuing of volunteer 'business' cards for a six month period to assess demand and how they work. We hope they will help our volunteer community introduce themselves to people and organisations they come into contact with. If anyone would like a WMUK business card identifying them as a 'Volunteer' please let Fabian Tompsett know in the office. fabian.tompsett@wikimedia.org.uk Members of the charity who are active volunteers will be eligible for the cards. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 10:44, 11 September 2014 (BST)

That's a good idea and I should imagine you'll see significant benefits. QuiteUnusual (talk) 10:49, 11 September 2014 (BST)
Thanks QuiteUnusual (like your user page photos) Let's hope it proves popular. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:59, 11 September 2014 (BST)
Thanks, I really must go back to Moors Valley with my proper camera. The miniature railway is superbly detailed. QuiteUnusual (talk) 11:55, 12 September 2014 (BST)

SSL Certificates

Dear Engine Room, Katherine is happy for you to see her report on what happened with the SSL certificates. Ideally our proposed Development postholder will develop a longer term response but any thoughts you want to share ill be appreciated. From Katherine Bavage

  • In May myself and Tom Morton discussed renewal of the SSL. I pointed out it had been really difficult to verify in 2013. He assured me that it would be a simple pay and verify by DNS as this was a renewal.
  • On 1st August Richard Symonds made payment to Gandi via foreign payments transfer at my request
  • In the following three weeks we received renewal reminders
  • On the 30th August we received a final renewal reminder. I contacted Tom to ask why the domain was not verfied by DNS assuming payment had been made.
  • On checking with Richard and Gandi it was apparent that the payment had still not transferred
  • I cancelled the payment by BACS and paid by credit card
  • It was then apparent that in fact verification documents were re-required desipite what I have been advised
  • I provided the verification documents by Hellofax online fax service
  • The customer support person who responded to my request this be dealt with urgently was repeatedly unable to read the faxes or authorise any other method of verification. This was despite my providing the exact same documents in the same format as 2013 and highlighting to him the problems this exact same method caused the first time.
  • After six attempts to provide a legible fax I stopped trying and requested the attention of a senior or specialist member of staff. No one one was available until Monday morning
  • On Monday morning after further prompting I was contact directly and ask to email the verification documents. I did, these were reviewed and found sufficient


  • We should have realised verification documents were needed a second time. It was an unreasonable process and I would have dealt with it pre-Wikimania had I known
  • The delay to transfer by BACS was unhelpful - in retrospect I wouldn't have paid that way had I realised the funds wouldn't have cleared 30 days later
  • The customer support failing to deal with for 36 hours despite it clearly being the inadequacy of their system and my being explicit about the consternation the expiry would cause. I will put in a complaint and will feedback the response for information - if you wanted to add comments about the impact let me have them
  • We won't use them again

Tom can advise on the specifics of this but I can assure you that in fact the certificate being expired didn't compromise the security of our systems. It did compromise the user experience, which I take seriously, but is a different thing (had is been the former I would have worked with Tom to buy another certificate from another provider on Saturday). I hope that is somewhat reassuring.

Posted on Katherine's behalf Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 15:06, 12 September 2014 (BST)

Q2 report card

A summary of how Wikimedia UK is doing against its KPIs is now available. If you want more detail, there's a link at the top of the page to the charity's report to the FDC. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 11:29, 6 October 2014 (BST)

South Coast Wikimeet

Would it be OK to add this meetup to the events list on WMUK's main page?

I do not have the privileges to make this addition.

Best Regards -- Marek.69 talk 00:01, 21 October 2014 (BST)

Hi Marek,
I have added the event to the Events page. You can edit that page too.
Events get copied across from the Events page to the Main Page every so often.
Yaris678 (talk) 04:46, 21 October 2014 (BST)
I did add it but then I realized that far more from Events needs to be copied over to cover all of November, which would make the Main Page much longer in the right-hand coloum. So I would suggest leaving it for now and copying over late November events nearer the time. CT Cooper · talk 15:57, 21 October 2014 (BST)
Thank you Yaris and Chris. :-) Marek.69 talk 00:49, 23 October 2014 (BST)

Problems with images on this wiki

Hello everyone. We are currently experiencing some problems with images on this wiki. It has been raised as a bug with our developers and we hope it will be fixed soon. Thanks for your patience. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 13:49, 10 November 2014 (GMT)

For reference, the bug is here. You don't need an account to view Bugzilla, but do if you want to leave a comment. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:38, 10 November 2014 (GMT)
Hello again. This issue seems to be resolved but if anyone has any problems please do let us know. Thank you. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 09:59, 11 November 2014 (GMT)

Move from Bugzilla to Phabricator

According to WMF Tech News, this change is going to happen on 21st November. How will it impact us? --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:35, 17 November 2014 (GMT)

I don't think it will directly as bugzilla.wikimedia.org.uk is hosted by Wikimedia UK, separately from the Foundation's installation. Tech Com have briefly discussed whether it's worth switching from Bugzilla to Phabricator so we have the same process as the Foundation. The feeling was that until there is clarity on how our IT work is managed, it may not be worth putting much time into but we can certainly spend more effort in making sure Bugzilla is being used effectively as a project management tool. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:57, 18 November 2014 (GMT)

Q3 report card

A summary of how Wikimedia UK is doing against its KPIs is now available. If you want more detail, there's a link at the top of the page to the charity's report to the FDC. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:51, 18 November 2014 (GMT)

Posting of 2014 AGM minutes

Have the minutes for the 2014 Annual General Meeting been posted? The meeting was a long time ago now so they probably should have been. I can't presently locate them. Also, the 2013 AGM Minutes are still categorised as awaiting approval, though as far as I'm aware they were approved at the 2014 AGM. CT Cooper · talk 23:08, 18 November 2014 (GMT)

My apologies not they have not yet been posted, though they should have been. We have had some problems getting minutes out in a timely way in recent months and I hope to be able to get AGM minutes out fairly shortly. This is not the usual timeframe and I know it's not good enough. The delay in getting minutes out has been reflected in the reduced transparency score the Board recorded in its recent self-assessment. Mccapra (talk) 13:59, 20 November 2014 (GMT)
Thank you for your quick response. I don't need them urgently, I was just curious as to where they were. I look forward to seeing the minutes posted soon though. CT Cooper · talk 16:19, 20 November 2014 (GMT)
Sorry once again for the delay. The minutes are now up. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 12:14, 8 March 2015 (GMT)
Thank you. Better late than never as they say. CT Cooper · talk 18:06, 8 March 2015 (GMT)